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University Library 
University of California Berkeley 


San Francisco 1 7 California 











Mr. Peter Petroff died in Oakland, June 1, 1894, aged 68 
years. He was a member of the Garfield Post, Grand Army. 
Fitting funeral services were held at their hall in this city, 
and the burial was on June 5th, in the Soldiers' Cemetery at 
the Presidio. The testimony of his commanding officer in the 
war was, "His character was excellent." "None was more faith 
ful, trustworthy and brave on the field of battle." A gentle 
man in New Haven, in whose employ he was about ten years 
immediately after the war, said: "Mr. Petroff I believe to be 
one of nature's born gentlemen, of unexcelled faithfulness and 
integrity in every respect." And such was- his character in 
this city and up to the time of his death. His bearing was 
military; he was a great reader; he thought much upon the so 
cial questions of the day, and wrote and published some very 
good articles. He lived quietly on his pension for years. His 
left arm was amputated near the shoulder, and his health was 
not good. With means placed at my disposal, and ac 
cording to promise, I publish his manuscript, left to my 
care, and only to be read after his death. His imperfect Eng 
lish is given nearly as he wrote it. He particularly requested 
this, possibly fearing to cause his friend trouble, and that by 
the changes made the sense would be obscured. Whatever the 
faults of the grammatical construction, the meaning is in almost 
every place quite plain. Each reader must judge for himself 
as to the weight he will give to the "visions" of our brother. 
Whatever he saw or thought he saw, he was a noble Christian 
man, a soldier of the cross. He has been mustered out from 
the Grand Army here, and has gone to join the infinitely more 
glorious army above, of whom the Lord Jesus Christ is Cap 
tain. J. K. 

SAN FRANCISCO, December, 1894. 

I deem it to be expedient and necessary to say at the start, 
as preface, that these writings are, in no ways, intended to 
serve as an autobiography of my life; but are done solely for 
the transmission to the world of the after-described Visions I 
have had ; and with exclusive desire and hope that my fellow- 
men who will have the opportunity to read these Ante-mortem 
Depositions may profit by them, and be strengthened in belief 
in the Word of God the Sacred Scriptures as also in the 
faith of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and be thereby moved to 
render due obedience to his teachings and commandments as 
they are ingrafted and handed over to us in the four Gospels 
and the Acts of the Apostles. 

As these ante-mortem depositions will be read only then, 
when I have passed away from among the living beings on this 
earth, so they the Depositions may be reasonably and prop 
erly considered as a voice from the other, that is the spiritual, 

Now, is there any person among the professed believers in 
God and the Bible that could assert any doubt in the truthful 
ness of the after-described Visions, or consider them as fic 
tions or imaginations of some diseased mental faculties, seeing 
that they come, as it were, from out the grave ? God be merci 
ful to such a being I I cannot help him ; but his doubt or un 
belief will surely be injurious to him. And his folly he will 
perceive only then, when it will be too late for him to mend it 
or repair. As regards the writer of this, he can only, and does, 
solemnly assure every one on earth that he saw the Visions, as 
they are described in the Depositions, in full mental power, in 


full daylight, and in full rational consciousness, as he was fully 
aware about all surroundings and circumstances which were at 
that time under the sweep of his natural eye. And the visions 
themselves, as also the other objects to that time under his 
eye are all perfectly preserved in his memory till the very 
present day, although over twenty-two years passed since he 
saw the first and most sublime of them. And he sees them, 
the visions, mentally clear till the present day, and remembers 
all the surroundings and attendant circumstances as clearly 
and vividly now as if he saw them a few days or a month ago ; 
although but a very -few circumstances of his life not connected 
with the visions are remaining in his memory, even so far that 
he can but very little remember of the various circumstances 
of his life. But the Visions and all the circumstances of the 
respective times when he beheld the visions are all vividly be 
fore his mental eye till now. 

It is natural to expect that, with many a thinking reader, 
the question will be raised. Why these Visions, obviously so 
sublime and significant, were not given to the world by the 
writer of this during his life on earth, and not, as he has done, 
after his passing away from the earth ? The answer and full 
explanation of the various reasons to that, the reader will find 
in the proper places of the "Depositions" themselves. And, 
as it was said before, the ''Depositions'' are not to constitute an 
autobiography of the writer of them ; so I shall confine myself 
to the limits of mentioning only such events as are necessary 
to the better explanation of the Fiswws, as also describing 
more fully the events connected with the Vufioms themselves. 

This I deem to be sufficient as a preliminary introduction. 
Therefore, with the help of our Lord and Saviour, I will pro 
ceed with the "Depositions"' themselves, saying, "Thy will be 
done, Our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ. In the name 
of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." 




I was born on the 14th of February, 1826; brought up 
and educated in St. Petersburg, Russia. Hence, at the present, 
the time of writing these Depositions (1886), I am in the sixty- 
first year of my age. 

This particular, by the way, may serve to convince any 
doubtful reader in the truthfulness of these "Depositions" ; as, 
at this advanced age of life, it is presumable that any rational 
man ought to know better than to write a fiction, and ascribe 
to it the solemn truth of being "Ante-mortem Depositions." 

In 1862, traveling through Europe, and, being in England, 
I accidentally became acquainted with a young officer (first 
lieutenant) of the Austrian army by the name of Puffer, who re 
signed his commission in the Austrian service, with the purpose 
of going to America with intention to join the Northern army 
in the war for the preservation of the Union of States against 
the Southern Confederacy of dissolution. And for this pur 
pose he had provided himself with several letters of introduc 
tion and recommendation, written by some eminent men of his 
country to several generals of German nationality, who already 
became distinguished in the Northern army of America, as 
Generals Siegel, Warner, Heintzelman, Schurz, etc. Showing 
these to me, he pressed upon my mind most earnestly to ac 
company him to America, promising to use the letters in pro 
moting my interests as well as his own. On my remark that 


in the United States the national language is English but I 
never studied that language, and do not know it at all he 
answered that precisely the same case is with him. And that 
was true, as we always helped ourselves through by means of 
either the German or the French languages. But we were as 
sured both by word and in some measure by the newspaper 
press, that in the Northern army of the United States there were 
military organizations composed entirely of Germans, with 
some mixtures of French and Irish ; and these German troop- 
bodies (even full regiments) were officered with German officers, 
and had the commands, and everything else, in the German lan 
guage. Thus it would be a comparatively easy task for us to 
establish ourselves properly. 

Being entirely independent, and free 10 choose my ways and 
actions, I consented to go with him to America, and told him 
right off that I go solely for the purpose of entering the North 
ern army ; and, as he was provided with so many recommenda 
tions, I expect him to be of some help to me, which he readily 
promised. So, taking passage on the steamer City of Baltimore, 
we embarked from Liverpool for New York. 

After several days of our tour across the Atlantic (which, 
in all, lasted nearly ten days), my companion (Puffer) informed 
me that he made acquaintance with a person on board the 
steamer who is an agent of the Southern Confederate Govern 
ment, by which government he was x sent to Europe for finding 
volunteers for the Southern army, and who was now returning 
from Europe. Further, he informed me that this agent, hav 
ing learned from my companion that we Puffer and I were 
going to America with the positive intention to join the North 
ern army, was trying hard to divert him from this, assuring 
him that the Northern States will surely be beaten, and the 
Southern Confederacy established, advising him better to join 
the Southern army. Further on he asked my companion to 
consult with me about that; and if we both consent to go into 


the Southern army, he invites us to accompany him to his 
home in Philadelphia, Penn., from whence he was; and that, as 
soon as we have signed the requisite papers we will receive a 
bounty of $500 each of us; maybe still more, but he can guaran 
tee only $500 to each of us; in this we can be sure. 

Learning all these, and many more particulars about that 
case from Puffer, I told him at once, and with positive under 
standing, that he is at full liberty to go where he pleases, and 
do what he thinks to be the best for him; that is, to join the 
Northern or the Southern army; but, what regards my own 
self, I never will go into the Southern army, even if I would 
be offered five thousand instead of fiue hundred dollars for that; 
moreover, as he perfectly knows himself that I started from 
England for America with the sole purpose of joining the 
Northern army, as the cause of the North side is the just and 
right one, and that of the South side is wrong and unjust, I 
never and never would start from Europe with an aim to join 
the Southern Army. Therefore, I ask him to inform that agent 
about my opinions and positive intentions; and, as to his own 
self, to act as he finds it better for him. To which Puffer an 
swered that his opinions, nearly in everything, coincide with 
mine views, and he has partly expressed them to that man al 
ready; but now, knowing mine positive opinions and resolution, 
he will tell him everything straight out, and will decline all 
his offered gifts and assistances. He afterwards pointed to me 
the agent, but I never made any acquaintance, nor spoke one 
word to him. 

So, arriving in New York, we rented rooms in a hotel on 
Greenwich street (do not remember the name of the hotel). 
One morning, about three or four days after our arrival, I be 
ing not quite well, Puffer went out alone to ascertain, if possible, 
where about he could find some of the persons to whom he had 
the letters of recommendation, and did not come back, and 
since which morning I never saw him again. But, on the 


morning of the third day (as far as I can remember) after his 
disappearance, a police officer brought into the hotel a note, 
written in German upon a small bit of paper, addressed to me 
and signed, as well as written, by Puffer, in which Puffer noti 
fied me that, after leaving hotel, he went around inquiring for 
information about those generals to whom he had letters, and, 
naturally, did so mostly with military officers who were on 
recruiting service in New York city. 

Thus he chanced to fall in with some officers who knew 
either German or French languages (some of them being from 
Europe) ; and they informed him that all the generals to whom 
he held letters of recommendation are either in the field with 
the active army, or in the city of Washington, and none of 
them can be found in New York. And. therefore, they advised 
him to enlist right off, and go to the field without delay or loss 
of time. So, upon their advice, he enlisted right away, and 
has been transported several miles out of New York city limits, 
where that regiment is being formed. 

After describing the above circumstances, he earnestly 
urged me to come out to see him, as he ever so much desired to 
see me, but is not permitted to leave the camp, where they are 
kept more like military prisoners than free volunteer soldiers, 
because too many who are permitted to leave the camp do not 
return at all. Therefore, as we came together to America with 
the intention to serve together, he earnestly entreats me to 
come out into the camp to see him, and he is pretty sure that 
once being there I will enlist also, and then we will be together. 
The same day I went out to look for that camp, and was, by 
some German, directed to take a certain horse-car and go so- 
and-so far, then take another car, and finally a third one; after 
which car has stopped for return trip to get out of it and in 
quire for the camp of that regiment (the names neither of the 
place nor the regiment can I remember), which I did; but, as I 
could not speak English, and outside the city it was far harder 


to find a person who understood any other language besides 
English; so, notwithstanding my all-day wanderings, I could 
not find the camp, and had to return to New York without 
having seen Puffer, and never have met him anywhere after 
wards ; as also do not know at all if he is alive or not at the 
present time. 

I deem it proper to say here that I went into this exten 
sive description of particulars for two causes: 

1. Because they bear more or less upon the circumstances 
which attended the principal vision; and 

2. If Puffer is yet in this world, and he will have the op 
portunity to read these "Depositions," he surely will remember 
much of that which I have here described, and will testify the 
truthfulness of the above statements in memory of his old 
friend, "Dear Russia," as he so many times called the writer of 
this; certainly as far as he was concerned, being a part in the 
different events till we had separated after his departure from 
the hotel. 

A few days later I fell in with mine nephew (son of mine 
sister), who came to America some months before me from 
Zurich, Switzerland, where he was educated in the School of 
Polytechnics, but born in St. Petersburg, Russia. Asa young 
man, speaking several languages, and especially knowing some 
of the English language, he had formed already many acquaint 
ances among young people in New York, and was desirous, too, 
with some other young men, to join the Union army, which 
circumstance was very agreeable to me, as I did not know the 
English language at all. 

Shortly after this we fell into the hands of another age^t 
who was from Connecticut, and gathered in New York city re 
cruits for the State of Connecticut. He spoke several lan 
guages, and was very useful to us. This agent informed us 
that in New Haven, Conn., there are many companies, if not 
full regiments, composed mostly of Germans, and commanded 


by officers of German nationality; hence, induced us to go with 
him to New Haven, Conn., where he will find for us the most 
suitable regiment. So I and mine nephew, and several others 
(nine men in all), came with this agent to New Haven, Conn., 
where shortly after we enlisted, but not under assistance of 
that agent, as he left us the next day after our arrival. And, 
after signing some papers, the contents of which we never knew, 
I, with mine nephew, were dispatched to Fort Trumbull, New 
London, Conn,, and the others had to go somewhere else. 

In Fort Trumbull was the headquarters of the 14th United 
States Infantry (regulars), and also a place for gathering re 
cruits for that volunteer regiment into which we have enlisted. 
So, after passing one month in the Fort in drilling and guard- 
duty, I applied for a three days' furlough to go to New Haven 
for making settlements, if there were any debts against me. 
And in the night of the third day, having come back to the 
Fort, and reporting myself in the guard-house for returning 
the furlough, I was laughed at and congratulated as a corporal. 

Not knowing anything more about it, I presumed it to be 
a joke or a sneer. But the next morning our orderly sergeant 
(a Prussian who many years served in Prussia and also in 
French service, and who spoke German and French tolerably 
well) came to and informed me that the Post-Commander, 
Major Williams, who did give me the furlough, told him after 
my departure on furlough that he does not expect to see me in 
the Fort again; but if I should return he will promote me to a 
corporal. So that morning, having reported to him my return, 
he received the order to place my name upon the list of cor 
porals in his book of report; therefore, I must let the post 
tailor put the proper chevrons on my uniform. 

Being entirely ignorant in the English language as I 
could not speak even five words in English, and even could not 
understand much more if told by another I remonstrated 
with the sergeant most earnestly, telling him that I cannot ac- 


cept this promotion, as the duty of a corporal is, among others, 
to place the sentinels on their proper posts, and thereby, and 
at that time, to give them all the orders which they have to 
perform and carry out on their posts of duty; as also, at the 
time of changing the sentinels, to listen and mark closely that 
the relieved sentry should turn over all the orders to the in 
coming one all of which I was utterly incapable to perform 
because I do not understand the necessary language, which is al 
most equivalent to being deaf and dumb. But the sergeant 
insisted, saying that the refusal to accept the promotion would 
be insulting to Major Williams, who said that he cannot suffer 
to see Petroff standing as a sentinel on guard; and, therefore, I 
accepted it, and became a corporal. 

Now it was exceedingly hard for me to perform my duties 
without being able to understand what any man standing 
above me in rank would have told me to do; so, having become 
a non-commissioned officer a corporal it fell upon me still 
harder to perform my duties, as I had to receive orders 
from my superiors, or those in temporary authority over me, and 
transmit the orders correctly to those under me as privates and 
sentinels on guard-duty all of which I was utterly unable 
properly to perform. And, in consequence of which, instead of 
escaping the constant abuse and insult from ill-disposed com 
rades, I became merely a laughing-stock for all such who chose 
to have some fun at my expense; and only God knows how 
many there were for this purpose. And it did not stop here, 
but went further; from joking, sneering and laughing at me, 
many went so far as to do personal injury to me by insulting 
and plaguing me in every possible way, as I was entirely un 
able, on account of my ignorance of English, to defend myself. 

In December, 1862, in consequence of a proposal and de 
sire of Major Williams, I was transferred from that volunteer 
regiment, into which I was enlisted, into the 14th United States 
Infantry (regular), to which Major Williams belonged, and the 


headquarters of which were in Fort Trumbull; presuming 
that, as in regular service there is more of proper order and 
military discipline, I would escape from the constant and fre 
quently almost unbearable annoyance, plague and insult to 
which I was exposed among the volunteers. But in this ex 
pectation I was sorely disappointed, though in regular service 
I found more strict military discipline and more proper order; 
but these very conditions made my ignorance of English 
harder to bear on me. And the annoyances did not cease, but 
rather were augmented from the side of the volunteers, which 
regiment 1 left by transfer. And it went so far that not in 
frequently I was informed by some one or another that I was 
calumniated, and falsely accused or misrepresented before Major 
Williams and other officers; but, as I ever abhorred and de 
spised the feeling or practice of revenge or retaliation, and, at 
the same time, was utterly unable to defend myself with the 
tongue, I was obliged to bear all that in silence, which was 
sometimes but too hard to endure. So I concluded at the first 
opportunity, when the next party of recruits are sent into the 
field, to express my wish to go to the front for further service- 
This opportunity presented itself very soon, and I was sent, 
with many others, to the field, and joined my regiment in the 
Army of the Potomac, which was in camp on the river Rap- 
pahannock in Virginia. 

In the very first days, after coming to our Regiment, I 
became fully aware that the hardships from my ignorance of 
the English language were but really in the beginning, as to 
my experience at the Fort Trumbull. Although I was assign 
ed to a Company which contained many Germans, and was 
commanded by Captain Ilges, a German from Prussia (a very 
kind man and a splendid soldier, who served during the whole 
time of the war in the field, participated in more than eighty 
battles and engagements, and was afterwards promoted to Col 
onelcy in the Regular Army) ; but, at every turn and at every 


step and action I needed the language that I did not possess. 
And this fact caused me to feel but too keenly and deeply the 
misery of my almost helpless condition. 

Knowing but too well how severe and inexorable the mili 
tary laws are, even in time of peace, but incomparably more so 
in time of war and especially in the field before the enemy 
my ignorance of English stood constantly like a specter before 
my mental eyes, causing me to feel like being constantly in hot 
water through fear of possible falling into a serious blunder or 
mistake through misunderstanding of orders given to me in 
English. And, till the very present day, it is to me like a 
great miracle that the time passed on, and I was, at least com 
paratively, able to perform all my duties as good as I could 
and understood in spite of such horrible drawbacks as I had 
on account of English language. And I cannot but openly 
confess and acknowledge that it is only the Blessed Saviour of 
mankind, in whom I always believed, and whose gospel teach 
ings I strived to obey as far as I understood them, and as far 
as it was possible for me to do so; He is it that carried me 
through all those horrible difficulties which I had to encoun 
ter every day and hour, and which, to describe, I am utterly 
unable. But, as an example, I will here present one very 
grave and highly responsible position, into which I was com 
pelled to plunge in, the very first time after coming to the the 
ater of hostilities. 

Shortly after my arrival, the Army of the Potomac re 
ceived the orders to strike the tents and break up the camp ; 
and be ready for march at a moment's notice; and the very 
same day the whole Army was in moving, where to we did not 
know. After a whole day's marching and a brisk, too 
about nine o'clock, evening, we made a halt for night's rest, 
and the orders were given to pitch the tents. But. as soon 
as the tents were about finished, there came an order for our 
regiment to go on picket duty, and the tents had to be torn 


down and packed up to the knapsacks in post haste; and in 
less than fifteen minutes we were marching on again, extend 
ing the picket line around our Division (2d Div. 5th Army 
Corps). Now, every man acquainted with military service 
knows full well that by drawing out a picket line, for every 
three separate sentinels one non-commissioned officer (Sar- 
geant or Corporal) is given, who takes the charge over the re 
spective three posts ; and all men are taken always from the 
last files, or from extreme tail of the column And, as the 
picket column moves onward, and the last men are con 
stantly falling out for taking their posts in the picket line, the 
column itself grows gradually smaller and smaller. 

Now, I was in the very first file of the column, and march 
ed just behind the horse of the field-officer who extended the 
picket line. Moving slowly forward, we began dimly to dis 
cern, not far off, a large farmhouse with lights in some win 
dows, and then came the order to "halt." After bringing the 
musket to the foot, the field officer began to give orders and 
arrangements in a low and suppressed voice, the meaning and 
contents of which I could not in the least understand; and 
after that he called for non-commissioned officers to step out 
of the ranks and advance to him. He called several times, but 
none came forward, and upon his inquiry if there were no 
sergeants or corporals in the rear the answer came from some 
one that there were none at all. 

On my left side marched with me a Pennsylvanian Ger 
man, who translated to me in a low voice what the picket- 
commander spoke, and that there were no other non-commis 
sioned officers present besides me. Therefore, I stepped out 
the ranks a few steps toward the officer's horse and saluted the 
commander. As it was a very cloudy and dark night he 
stooped down in his saddle to see my face (probably wonder 
ing that I did not step out at once after his calling for, or that 
I did not speak a word). But, recognizing me, he exclaimed, 


"Is that you, Corporal?" to which I answered, "Yes, sir." 
(The very one answer I was able to give on any and every oc 
casion, without knowing or being sure that the answer is cor 
rect or incorrect.) Upon that he asked again if there were no 
other non-commissioned officers, and received the answer that 
there were none. So he scratched his head behind and began 
to give me his orders. Now, to this time of my being in the 
service I began to understand a few words or sentences, if they 
were told to me slowly and clearly, but could not, by 
any means, reply, or express myself when I did not under 
stand. Knowing my ignorance in English, he was thoughtful 
enough to speak to me very slowly, and as clearly, I suppose, 
as he could; but, nevertheless, I surely succeeded to grasp and 
understand not more, if not less, than one word out of ten. 
As he knew me (although I could not recognize him or remem 
ber having seen him before), and as I was dumb like an oys 
ter, he called for some man' to come out who could speak any 
other language besides English; and there came forward' that 
Pennsylvanian who marched with me in our ranks, and he 
translated to me in German the orders of the commander, 
which were: That the remaining men shall constitute the 
picket reserve, and I shall take charge of them, take them to a 
place which he pointed out to me in the direction to the farm 
house, count them up, and keep them together till further or 
ders. And especially be in vigilant lookout, and be in con 
stant readiness for action, as the scouts reported that certain 
bands of rebel-guerrillas are prowling around. 

So, taking the men to the assigned place, and forming 
them into line; I found the squad to be of forty- eight men; 
and, with the exception of four men, all could not understand 
any other language besides English. Three could understand 
German and one French, but being from Canada his French I 
could not understand. Now, just in the progress of counting 
the men, there came a fearful ^ainstorm, a rain that only a 


Virginia cloud can furnish. So, in haste, giving, through my 
Pennsylvania friend translator, the necessary orders to keep to 
gether and not to take off the knapsacks or accoutrements (as, 
at any moment, we may be ordered to fall in), but seek shelter 
from rain, as good as they could, under trees and bushes, and 
be especially careful to preserve the loaded muskets and am 
munition in cartridge boxes from becoming wet, and to 
keep and remain all together, I broke the ranks, keeping the 
translator close by me for any emergency. After twelve o'clock 
the clouds began to break asunder, and there came a glorious 
full moon to cheer us up. Shortly after came the field officer 
to see us ; and, among other things, ordered to detail three men 
from my squad to be placed as sentinels around the farmhouse, 
where was the headquarters (division or brigade, I cannot re 
member), saying that it was again reported that rebel guerrilla 
bands are marauding around. Asl had heard before his com 
ing some horses' tramps not very far from our hiding-place, 
and shortly afterwards some firing from different points of our 
picket-line, I reported that to the officer through the trans 
lator. And then, picking out the first-at-hand three men, I 
made ready to execute his orders; but he, seeing my difficulty 
and inability to give any instruction to the sentinels, and 
probably to be more sure for himself, took the men with him 
self, telling me to remain with the reserve, and keep sharp 
lookout for the guerrillas, and especially, if anything suspicious 
or extraordinary happens, to send a report about it instantly 
to him at the headquaiters. But, to our good luck, the rest of 
the night passed peaceably and quietly. And if any man of 
the whole of our picket line greeted the first break of dawn on 
that morning with a deep sense of relief from fear and help 
lessness it surely was the commander in charge of the picket re 
serve. The experience of a man in such a condition can never 
be described or imparted by means of words to others; it is 
known and can be understood only by such as have been in 


similar conditions themselves. I ask the reader to consider 
for a moment the following items: 

There were guerrilla parties lurking around, and in dan 
gerously close proximity. Now, if any of these guerrilla troops 
should find out our hiding-place, and make a charge upon us . 
it would be an easy task for them to capture not only all of us, 
but probably the headquarters itself, if they could bring up a 
sufficiently strong force. Then, in any such emergency I would 
be utterly incapable to bring the men under my charge to any 
defensible purpose, as I was unable to give any command, or 
to make any dispositions necessary in such emergency; and 
this on account of mine ignorance of English, as to do this 
by means of an interpreter or translator in such a moment 
would be worse than useless. But the Lord, Saviour of 
mankind, was the shield of protection; and the night passed 
without any greater difficulty for me than the above described. 
v\nd the next morning we took in the picket line and proceeded 
further. Such difficulties, although not in equally dangerous 
responsibility, repeated themselves continually all the time, 
and every time when I was obliged to perform duty on guard, 
or on any other detailed service. 

This perplexing helplessness worked upon me to such an 
extent that I gradually lost the possibility to sleep; and it came 
so far that I'could not sleep and rest throughout the whole of 
even one single night; but the most nights I was compelled to 
pass without sleeping at all, constantly trying to remember 
more and more words of the English language which I heard be 
fore; and also my helpless condition was constantly before my 
mental eyes. The idea of falling into a serious scrape through 
misunderstanding of received orders from mine superiors, or 
through my ignorance of the language wrongly transmitting the 
received orders to the sentinels placed by me on their posts 
that is, of giving them orders erroneously understood by me, 
and in such a way as may lead them to perform their duty 


contrary to the orders of superior officers, and thereby draw 
upon myself a case which may be interpreted far worse than 
error of ignorance: this idea and fear of consequences haunt 
ed me day and night, and it culminated in my losing sleep 
altogether. So that the most nights I was compelled to lay 
awake all night, tossing myself from one side to the other. 

The sleeplessness and almost entire absence of mental rest 
hence, deprivation of physical rest drew upon me gravest 
consequences. I must state here that some time after the bat 
tle of Gettysburg, on our return march from Pennsylvania to 
Virginia, I was detailed into the Provost Guard of the Second 
Division, Fifth Army Corps, commanded by General Ayers, 
and the commander of which guard became Captain Carpenter 
of our regiment, who knew me well. As in the Provost Guard 
non-commissioned officers were but very few, I had to be on 
guard once in every three days, and often every other day. 
For any other man, who knew the English language, such ser 
vice would be easy and light enough ; but for me it was the 
more hard, as it constantly required the use of that language 
which I did not possess; and in the whole number of men in 
the Provost Guard there was but one man who could speak 
German; but such German as to understand him it was for 
me almost still harder than to understand English; and there 
was none that could understand French. In this guard I re 
mained the whole winter till the last days of April, 1864. Be 
sides the regular guard duty around the headquarters, on every 
stormy night we had to throw around our camp an extra picket 
guard, as there was always some danger of being attacked by 
rebel guerrillas. And this came always when there was a heavy 
snowstorm. This augmented my misery very much, as, bein^ 
on such duty, with several men under my charge, I had to 
place them on their posts, give them proper instruction, and 
that in a whisper; and, besides all these, every night there 
came cavalry patrols and different scouts close by our camp, 


and on stormy nights more frequently than usual. At the 
approach of every such party I had to challenge them, to 
order them to halt, and to give the countersign, in order to 
ascertain if they were friends or enemies. On every such 
occasion I was asked to give much different information, as 
to : How long since and in which direction the last patrol or 
scout party had passed by us ? The precise location of our 
headquarters. The approximate distance to the nearest regi 
mental camp. And about the directions of different roads 
through the woods, etc., etc. Not to one single question was I 
able to give answer; and there were sometimes laughable as 
well as pitiable episodes at such difficult encounters. And it 
must be remembered that all this had to be gone through in a 
blinding snowstorm, and often in knee-deep drifting snow, 
and in darkness which prevented to recognize even the dress 
of the inquirer; and still less was it possible to see anything 
of the face of him. And almost at every such visit and con 
versation, starting further on their duty, they conversed and 
laughed among themselves; no doubt but at the expense of 
him from whom they received so much (?) valuable infor 

Laboring under these terribly hard odds and drawbacks, 
and having almost no rest at all because if not on guard, or 
any other duty, I could not sleep either in the day-time nor at 
the night-time, as I have stated above my constitution began 
to break down. And the first evidence of my constitutional 
disorders manifested itself in my stomach and bowels, which 
became so disordered that the movements 6*f the bowels were 
performed but once in several days; in fact, it came so far as 
to be but once in a week or six days. And this caused me to 
suffer great pain in stomach and bowels, as also heaviness and 
dullness in the head and general weakness in the whole body, 
shortly after which there followed excruciating cramps in 
stomach and bowels, and so severe that it was often almost im- 


possible for me to stand the wearing of the belt with the cart 
ridge-box attached. At the beginning of these trouble I vis 
ited the doctor a few times and received some medicines, 
which, however, did not give me much relief; but as the 
cramps came upon me oftener every other day, and often ev 
ery day and as I was unable to explain my troubles for the 
doctor sufficiently to understand, I ceased to go to the doctor. 
in order not to give any suspicion that I was trying to shirk 
the performance of my duty, and left myself to the mercies of 
my Creator to effect the restoration of my constitution by 
means of my nature itself. 

Some time after these troubles began, it appeared to me 
occasionally that intermittently I lost my sound memory : 
that is, it seemed to me that sometime* I became entirely un 
conscious or oblivious to any and everything of my surround 
ings. At least I was unable to remember and give to myself 
a proper account of a certain lapse of time just past. And 
this fact became the more apparent to me in the early spring 
of 1864, when we were with the headquarters, moving from 
one place to another, as I always very easily became heated 
and profusely perspired. So, starting from the place of our 
night camp, subsequently ouring our march I often lost my 
memory to such an extent that, stopping in the next place 
after recovering my proper consciousness I was utterly un 
able to give an account to my own self, how long we m;uvlu<l 
where we passed, and what were the objects observable on t In 
line of our marching. The conscion turned to me al 
ways only when we had made a halt for rest, and after I 
had sufficient time to be cooled off and stop the excessive per 
spiration. Then, all at once becoming conscious where about 
we were, and who were around me; then calling into memory 
the last place of our stopping, the time of our starting on 
the march, and for some distance the road, and some more con 
spicuous objects passed by us on the march; and then, all at 


once, all became blank to my memory, and, for my life, I 
could not remember where we passed and where we marched. 
But, by my watch it was obvious that we were several hours 
moving. But the most strange thing for me was the fact 
that not one of my comrades who were with me on the Pro 
vost Guard duty at that time have ever made any allusion to 
me that I conducted myself duriLg these times of my mental 
absentness in any way strange, uncommon, or irrational. And 
many a time I was on guard duty during our march, when I 
had the charge not only over the guard detail, but had to look 
after thirty, sometimes over forty, prisoners, many of whom 
were under heavy charges and sentences; but never came any 
thing unusual. Just one instance: After a few hours of 
marching and some time of resting, becoming at once con 
scious and accountable, I found myself lying under a tree 
with my knapsack under mine head, and several others of my 
comrades of the guard lying and resting around the same tree 
in like manner as myself. Not knowing how long we were 
there, I asked the nearest man how long we were resting. He 
looked at his watch, and answered, "About half an hour," 
adding, with some sarcasm: "Well, you were not asleep, and 
ought to know without asking how long we were here resting." 
Hence, taking out my watch, I saw that, from the time of our 
starting from the last place of our rest, nearly four hours elapsed; 
the most of which time I was utterly unable to account for, or 
remember any object we had passed on the road, till I, as it 
were, awoke under the tree as above stated. So it continued 
and repeated itself every day, when the headquarters were 
moved from one place to another. 

In the last days of April, 1864, the division Provost 
Guard, which was composed of details from all the regiments of 
regulars in that division, was relieved by details from 
the regiments of volunteers, and we were ordered to return to 
our respective regiments and report ourselves to our nearest 


commanders. So, rejoining our regiment, I reported myself to 
mine company commander, Captain Ilges (afterwards Colonel 
U. S. Army). As Captain Ilges was a German (aa was stated 
before in these depositions), and I could converse with him in 
full mutual understanding of one another, so I concluded that 
I will wait a few days and see if my mental derangements will 
continue as before; then I will reveal it to him, and ask him to , 
communicate and explain all I knew about my condition to 
our regimental doctor, and ask the doctor either for medicine 
or advice in my troubles. But as far as I can remember, the 
very next day after my return to the regiment came the gen 
eral order to break up the camp and be ready for march at 
once. Now, as at every breaking up of the camp and prepar 
ing for march, every one had more to do than he possibly 
could attend to, and the commanding officers still more than 
any other person, there was no time, neither opportunity, to in 
form Captain Ilges, my company commander, about my 
troubles. And, in fact, I never told any one about my mental 
troubles and physical ailments of that time, except once to 
Captain Ilges, when he came to Fort Trumbull for a few days 
after the battle of the Weldon Railroad, at which battle he re 
ceived some injuries. And, being in Fort Trumbull, he came 
over into the hospital to see me and other wounded men of his 
company, at which time mine arm was already amputated for 
some time; but, being very feeble and very nervous, I could 
tell him but very little, as I could call to memory but very 
few instances. And besides that, I was forbidden by the Post- 
Surgeon, Dr. Porter, to talk much; and, except this instance, 
I never told anybody about my mental troubles and condi 

After the breaking of the camp and starting on the march, 
I soon perceived that my mental troubles were increasing. 
The pain and cramps in stomach and bowels came not so oft 
en, especially being on the march ; but instead of that, very bad 


pain in the head, and then the loss of memory and the utter tem 
poral unaccountability became aggravated, at times so much 
so that the most time I was like in a trance, or in some kind 
of somnambulism, not being able at such times to account ra 
tionally, or remember where I was and what I had been do 
ing. Some moments, or short spaces of time, I could remem 
ber everything as vividly as any other man ; but this occurred 
at intervals and of short duration, the bulk of time being 
blank and unaccountable. So, after starting on the march the 
first day after breaking-up camp, I soon lost my mental facul 
ties, and do not know utterly how long and where about we 
marched, when we stopped to rest, and how I passed the night. 
And not only that, but even the next morning I could not re 
member afterwards how I rose from sleep and what I had 
done; and my consciousness came back to me, and just as if I 
were awakened from a sound sleep, or restored from a trance, 
suddenly, and just at the very moment when, having boiled 
my coffee for breakfast with other soldiers; and how I have 
done that I don't know anything about it either. I carried 
my coffee-pot, suspended upon a stick, to my place of night's 
resting, and passed a group of officers, among whom was Cap 
tain Ilges, and who, looking at me, was talking to the other 
officers; and, as it appeared to me, he was talking about me. 
Now, as I was unaccountable nearly the whole previous day and 
the whole of last night, too (as I have just stated above), this 
event was for me very vexing. I could not remember what I 
had done the day previous and the last night, and the con 
versation of the officers, seemingly about me, gave me a 
suspicion that probably I had done something wrong, irra 
tional, or foolish. And still more strange, besides Captain 
Ilges, I did not recognize one single other officer, although 
they all seemingly belonged to our regiment. After this I can 
not remember clearly and positively how long we remained on 
that spot ; neither can I remember the time and circumstances 


when we started again on march, but became fully aware of it 
when we were marching. Shortly after I became unconscious 
again, and don't know at all how long we moved, but regain 
ed my consciousness at the very time when we were forming 
into line of battle, which was about noon, and a very hot day* 
too, as I was wet throughout from perspiration. Now, as I 
look upon all that at the present time, it appears to me that 
somebody and very reasonably may ask why I did not re 
port to my commanding officer and the regimental doctors, 
my troubles and incompetent condition ? And especially at 
such a time, when it could result in great disasters. I answer 
as it appeared to me at that time. I never was told that I 
had done anything wrong when I was in absent mindedness, 
but seemingly I acted always as rational as any other person; 
hence, I nevf r was in apprehension that I would commit some 
thing wrong. And the other cause of my silence was that to 
report my troubles at such a time, and when every man was 
highly needed in the ranks and such troubles, which neither 
could I prove, nor could the doctor or any one detect would 
be most likely taken as a deceit and a subterfuge to get out of the 
ranks and out of the dangers of war; and, therefore, I kept si 
lt nee. I remember tolerably well how we formed our regi 
ment into line, and how we started in battle-line through 
very thick underbrush, which retarded very badly the ad 
vance of th troops; especially so as this thick brush was full 
of wild vines, which extended and intertwined the bushes to 
gether like a net. I remember, also, that the command was 
given, and we started in double-quick step, which was almost 
impossible to perform, as the vine cords prevented keeping the 
line unbroken. And at the start I found myself entangled 
and almost strangled by some of those vine cords or strings. 
As I was running, as all others did, some of these vine- cords 
chanced to come around my neck, and through my rapid 
moving forward they formed themselves into a perfect noose, 


so that I was not only stopped in my run. but was violently 
jerked back. Being in a condition thut utterly prevented my 
moving forward, I began to extricate and disentangle myself 
out of the meshes as rapidly as it was possible for me, 
having in mine hands gun, with the bayonet fixed on it, and 
not one soul to help me. 

This caused me to remain a considerable space behind the 
line; but as soon as I had disentangled myself out of these 
meshes, and was able to move forward, I started with all my 
might to run after the battle line in order to overtake it, and 
regain my place in it. Running through that brushy thicket 
as fast as it was possible for me, I naturally became so 
heated that the perspiration ran down my body as water. In 
a few minutes later I came out of that thicket upon a large 
field, and saw our line of battle in considerable distance ahead 
of me. So I used all my strength to catch up to it, and began to 
run after it with all my might. Now, as it was a hot day, and 
I perspired but too profusely even being in comparatively shady 
woods, so, coming into the open field, with the sun's rays mer 
cilessly striking upon me, and with increased exertions to catch 
up to the line, and having musket in the hands, and heavy 
load upon my back in the form of a knapsack and contents, in 
the very first seconds of that run I became utterly exhausted; 
and, having lost again my consciousness and accountability, 
from this moment I was utterly oblivious where I was, what 
I had done, how I had been wounded, how long I was in that 
Battle of the Wilderness, and how I came out of that fight. 
In one word: It was, and is till now, for me utterly impos 
sible to give any account of that time, if even my physical 
life was dependent on that. I could then and can now 
remember, and very distinctly, that there was a very great 
noise and confusion; that 1 saw a multitude of people running 
in all directions, and apparently without any aim and knowl 
edge what they were doing, or what had to be done. But all this 


appeared to me then, as now, like a dream of a man in delirium 
of fever, in which condition I was once in my boyhood; and 
the strange hallucinations of that time of my sickness I remem 
ber till now very vividly, although it happened with me nearly 
fifty years ago. But here, besides or except this great noise 
and confusion. I cannot remember any other circumstances 
which happened around me and with me, and do not know at 
all how and when I was wounded; neither do I know how and 
when I came out and off the field of battle. 

This occurred in the Battle of the Wilderness, Virginia, 
on the 4th day of May, 1864. At the first time of regain 
ing my senses I found myself lying under a large tree in the 
woods, having my knapsack under mine head, and the belt, 
with the cartridge-bf>x, unbuckled, which work I myself in no 
ways could perform on account of one arm being shot through 
and rendered useless; but who unbuckled my knapsack and 
belt I do not know at all. Remaining conscious but a few 
minutes, during which time I heard heavy and deafening fire 
of cannon and musketry, and that at a near distance from me, 
1 dropped again into oblivion, and how long it continued lean- 
not tell; but the senses returned to me in the very minute 
when two men with stretchers were passing by at a short dis 
tance, going towards the sound of battle noise. They would 
have passed me unnoticed, but I called to them; and, having 
come to me, they lifted me up, put me upon the stretcher, and 
proceeded to carry me farther. 

At this time I lost my senses again, and regained them 
towards the evening, when the sun was already under the hori 
zon. At this lime I found myself lying on a clear field among 
many hundreds of other wounded men; and the first thing my 
eyes beheld and the mind grasped was that one officer of our 
rfgiment, a captain, by the name Osborn, or Osborne (I don't 
know exactly), was going with a doctor between the rows of 
the wounded, dying and dead scattered around me. Chancing 


to see me, he turned towards the place where I was ; and with 
the words (as far as I can recollect), "Corporal, you are here, 
too," he inquired whereabout I was wounded; but, not being 
able to explain myself, I pointed out with my right hand to 
the wounded left arm. He kneeled at my side and tried to 
take off my overcoat, which I had on. But, not being able to 
do this, he got up and went to the doctor; and, after a few 
words to the doctor, pointing with his hand towards me, he 
returned to me with the doctor. 

All this I distinctly understood and remembered after 
wards, and do vividly recollect to the present day; and if that 
Captain Osborn, or Osborne, is yet living, or even that doctor 
(whose name I never heard) is yet among the living, and any 
one of them should chance to read these '"Depositions," they 
will probably remember it too. But just at the very moment 
when they were standing near me, and the doctor began to ex 
amine the sleeve of my coat to see whereabout the arm was 
shot, I dropped into unconsciousness again, and do not know 
at all how or when my arm was dressed, and how I was remov 
ed into a hospital tent, where I found myself, among many 
others, at the next return of my senses; and this time it was 
already night and quite dark; but in a few miles' distance the 
fire of musketry and cannon went on as lively as during the 
day; and my arm was dressed, being taken out of the over 
coat sleeve, of which work I was utterly oblivious. This time 
the consciousness remained but a few moments. 

At the next return of the senses it was about midnight, 
or past twelve o'clock, and 1 found myself lying under another 
man, who threw himself across my body. I pushed and tried 
to awaken him, but to no avai 1 , because I found him to be in 
sensible. After, with great difficulty, I extricated myself by 
crawling from uuder his body; and, examining him as far as 
it was possible by the light of the moon, I found him to be a 
sergeant of a Zouave regiment, very young and very hand- 


some, but already dead for some hours apparently, because his 
limbs were cold and already stiff; and he, undoubtedly, in the 
mortal agony had thrown himself across me, of which 1 was not 
in the least aware, and saw it only then when my senses re 
turned, and when he was dead already for some hours. 

After this I remember" remaining for some days (how man v 
days I do not know, as the most time I was unconscious at 
leaVt unaccountable to my own self) in that field hospital. 
Then, I remember that all of us that were able to travel were 
sent further to the rear. And so 1 started, in the company of 
several hundred men wounded and sick, as others to W, towards 
Fredericksburg. \Ve passed that city, also Chamvllorsville, 
and some other minor places, all in ruin and desolation. Afi 
among the wounded in our squad there were many who could 
speak German, and a few who could speak some other lan 
guages, I had comparatively very little difficulty on account of 
my ignorance of English; but 1 was the most time only half 
conscious, and often unsconscious tntirely, but never heard 
from any man that I acted in some way or another strangely 
or irrationally. And on that account, although we stopped in 
several cities on the road of our travel, and in some places we 
were located in hospitals, but how long we ^ere in any place I 
cannot tell; I can recollect only this circumstance, that dur 
ing our ride in railroad cars from Philadelphia to New York 
city which ride was very fast, and the track in a very had 
condition, as it caused often the passengers to jump high up 
from the bench in consequence of the jumping of the cars I 
became aware that the pain in my wounded arm, which 
shot exactly through the elbow socLet or joint, Uiran all at 
once to increase very rapidly. And, as it was ascertained after 
wards that the bone was split in several pieces. I presume that 
through the great jerking and jumping of the cars the split 
hone fell asunder, and in consequence of that the increase of 
inflammation and pain ensued. I can only remember that we 


came to New York city, but in no way can 1 say how long we 
remained in that city; neither can I remember how we passed 
the time in New York ; nor can I recollect anything how we 
came from New York to New London, Conn.; I don't know 
at all, if we came by a steamboat or by rail. But 1 became 
fully conscious, and remember till now the time when we ar 
rived at Fort Trumbull, and were welcomed by the post chap 
lain, the good and saintly Kev. Dr. Hurlbut. (I am not sure 
that this name is written correctly.) 

In Fort Trumbull my physical and mental condition did 
not improve, but rather grew worse. The pain in the wounded 
arm increased daily and hourly on account of a large boil 
which appeared just above the place where the bones were 
cracked and parted asunder, and on the upper part of the fore 
arm; I suppose it came from the accumulation of matter in 
the wound and in the place where the split bones separated. 
And the mental condition was so much deranged that I was 
really conscious about myself and the surroundings only at 
intervals, and then but for a very short duration at a time. 
Therefore, I cannot conscientiously mention or describe any 
thing that happened with me at that time, and can remember 
but the time when I was transferred from the barracks to the 

In this hospital of Fort Trumbull, Conn., I beheld the great 
est and the sublimest vision, which I will undertake to describe 
presently, as far and as clear as my inadequate knowledge of 
English will enable me to do. But, to understand better all 
particulars, for those who never have been in Fort Trumbull, 
Conn., and, consequently, do not know the inner construction 
of that hospital, I will describe the arrangements of that build 
ing as far as I am able to recollect, adding the following rough 
diagram of the building: 

The outer walls were of rock-stone, plastered inside and 
whitewashed; the building consisted of one story, with abase- 


ment for a kitchen, dining-room, and quarters for the attend 
ants. The entrance to the building was by a few steps to a 
veranda, and then into a narrow hall or corridor, which divid 
ed the building into two parts. On the left side from the en 
trance was the dispensary a large room, with two large win 
dows on the right and left hand sides from the door; and the 
whole wall opposite the door was covered with a large cupboard 
or case, with glass doors, for keeping medicines, instruments, 

hospital necessities, etc. On the right hand side of the en 
trance hall, just opposite to the door into the dispensary, was 
another door for the entrance into the ward or hospital proper. 
This room was in width not less than three times as large .as 
the dispensary room, but of the same length. Opposite the 
entrance to that room was an open fireplace in the middle, and 
two closets in the corners ^f that wall; and on both sides, 


right and left, were several windows, in the intervals of which 
were the couches. In the middle of the room, lengthwise, was 
a row of wooden columns for the support of the ceiling; and 
close to one of them were standing an ordinary little table and 
a chair, where some of the inmates of the hospital that were 
able to leave their beds sometimes partook their meals or medi 
cines. As the doors of the hospital room and the dispensary 
were just opposite each other, and near the outside wall, as 
shown in the diagram, and were most of the time stand 
ing full open: so, walking through the hospital room towards 
the dispensary, a man could see a part of the opposite wall, 
with the large glass- door case, where the medicaments and 
hospital books and instruments were kept; and, also, if going 
close to the columns, a man could see the wall with the two 
windows on the right-hand side of the dispensary room. This 
is all I am able to recollect about the inner arrangements of the 
hospital building. And I hope that this description, together 
with the diagram, will be sufficient for the proper understand 
ing of all that which will be described presently about the 

During my stay in Fort Trumbull at this time, which 
was eight or nine months, I was nearly all the time as it ap 
pears to me at the present time in half sleep or some kind of 
a trance, and can but very faintly remember fcome incidents 
or events of my life there at that time; and can recollect 
clear enough but such circumstances and incidents that are, 
more or less, connected with or have direct bearing upon 
the "Visions" themselves, all of which I vividly remember 
and distinctly see with my mental eyes till the very present 
day. And besides that, I am pretty sure that I will retain 
them in memory till the last day of my life on earth. There 
fore I will mention only that which I can well remember, and 
will describe but that in the correctness of which I am con 
sciously sure that it happened. 


Shortly after my arrival at Fort Trumbull I was compell 
ed often to listen to conversation between other soldiers, and 
carried on in close proximity to me although in some sup 
pressed undertone or voice, but still loud enough to be distinct 
ly heard by me, and seemingly for the principal purpose of 
my hearing it that I am a rebel, a traitor, etc., and that I 
ought to be shot. And sometimes I was forced to hear that I 
will be court-marshalled and shot. These and such like utter 
ances and conversations I was subjected to hear nearly every 
day. It is easy for every rational reader of this to understand 
that such discourses about me among my comrade-soldiers in 
my presence but too much augmented my physical weakness 
and mental derangement, as I was utterly unconscious of hav 
ing committed such a deed which would justify the infliction 
of the highest penalty of the law; and to be a rebel, a traitor, 
was for me as abhorrent and detestable as it ever could be for 
the most loyal born American. And solely for this purpose I 
have described at such length my resolution to go to America 
for the sole purpose of entering into the Northern army, and 
also my outright refusal to accept the advances of that agent 
of the Southern Confederacy offered to me and my comrade, 
Lieutenant Puffer, on the steamer coming over the ocean. I 
had no opportunity whatever to be such; but even if I had 
or would have any chance for such an action, I was constitu 
tionally or conscientiously utterly incapable to commit such 
an act of treason. 


But as I was often and so many times in the field, as also 
at the time of being in Fort Trumbull, semi-unconscious or 
unaccountable, it dawned upon, me that, probably, some time 
being in such a condition, maybe I conducted myself or acted 
in such a way as could be interpreted or explained as treason 
able. But if ever such act or conduct of mine was really 
committed by me, I am utterly unconscious of it; hence, can 
not be made accountable and punishable for it, as it was done 
iii the absence of sound senses and without rational intention. 
Further on it gave to me .acutest moral pain that I did not 
know at all the particulars of the time when I was wounded. 
So the interval times when my consciousness and reason re 
turned to me I was horribly perplexed about the times of my 
unaccountability. To cap all these perplexities, I was very 
often forced to converse with other soldiers in English, or give 
them answers to their questions in that language. But, as I 
knew the exact meaning of but very few English words, so 
the largest number of words that I used in expressing myself 
I utterly did not know the correct meaning of them, and used 
them only because I supposed them to mean that which I was- 
desirous to express. But in this I made many and very 
grave mistakes. Many times it happened so that after having 
given to the inquirer my answers and explanations, I could 
perceive by his conduct at leaving me that he felt either in 
sulted or disgusted by my answer. So, remembering closely 
the words I used in giving my answer to the inquirer, at the 
first opportunity I asked some one who knew good German 
and English what these words which seemingly offended my 
inquirer meant and implied, and, every time I had to find out 
that these words did not convey that which I desired to ex 
press. And very often they were radically contrary to that 
which I ought to say in answer to the question, and desired to 
say. (Under this last difficulty I am laboring even till the 
present time, although I am in this country over twenty-two- 


years, and have to use the English language every day. As 
not long since, an editor of a religious paper, to which I con 
tributed some of my writings, told me that he cannot correct 
ly understand my talk to him, and that I write and express 
myself far more correctly in writing than in speaking.) 

Now, if I possessed sufficient knowledge of the English 
language so as to be able to understand intelligently everything 
that was said to me, and in return to give answers to questions 
and explanations to everything in such a clear and compre 
hensible way as to be readily and easily understood by the ma 
jority, if not by all, I would have presented my case* to the 
proper authorities in the Fort; but for such an action I was 
utterly and positively incapable. Because not only was I un 
able to express myself correctly, but I was unable to under 
stand what was told to me. And even in that which I seem 
ingly understood, if it was an order from a superior officer, in 
carrying it out I never was sure that I had understood the 
words of the order-giver correctly, and carried out his orders 
accordingly and right. And to go and petition the authorities 
for investigation, and probably a formal and legal court mar 
tial, by means of an interpreter or translator, was for me en 
tirely out of the question. Because, seeing every one around 
me to be ill-disposed against me, as the most of them were but 
too glad of finding opportunity to trouble, plague, and annoy 
me, I in no way could trust any one of them to act as a trans 
lator or interpreter in such an emergency for me. On the oth 
er hand, as I was in Fort Trumbull at that time even oftener, 
and for a longer duration at a time, unconscious or unaccount 
able as I was the last time of my being in the field, I was in 
great danger and dread of falling into that state or condition 
during my examination, and thereby making the circumstances 
far worse than they were before. All this compelled me to re 
main in a vexed and deplorable condition without any attempt 
whatever to extricate myself out of it, and I had to put all my 


hope for deliverance into the hands of a Power which is might 
ier than all human agencies and means. 

In this condition and under these circumstances I drag 
ged my life, every day augmenting my misery by the increase 
of pain in my wounded arm ; as also by my mental trouble 
and constant thinking about the calumny of being a rebel, a 
traitor, and what not, as it was described above. Now, all 
these combined, naturally worked to lower my physical and 
spiritual constitution; and, to all that, the intermittent and 
constant spells of my unaccountability helped me to grow 
weaker and feebler. To this time I was in the common bar 
racks with some other sick and wounded men; but as I grew 
rapidly weaker and worse, I was, at last;, transferred into the 
hospital, the diagram of which is given above. 

Now, on one Sunday morning, shortly after my being 
transferred into the hospital building (as far as I can recollect 
it was the last days of June, or in the first part of July, 1864, 
and, as I write the present "Depositions'' in July, 1886, so, 
just twenty-two years since), after a tolerably good night's 
rest, I got up blessed with unusual clear mental perceptions. 
And mostly all circumstances of that Sunday morning and 
forenoon impressed themselves upon my mind, and vividly re 
main in my memory till the very present day, although they 
happened over twenty-two years ago. After the usual Sunday 
inspection on that morning, between 10 and 11 o'clock A. M., 
feeling some increase of pain in my.wounded arm, I began to 
walk up and down the whole length of the hospital room. The 
first time of my beginning to walk up and down I mentally 
repeated some prayers, but was distracted from this by the sur 
roundings about me. Then I began to think about the war 
and the events occurring on the fields of conflict, waged be 
tween two political parts of one nation. Now, as in every in- 
ternicine war and especially in our war for the union of 
States there were many and many families, which of the male 


members one part served in the Union army and the other 
part of the same family served in the ranks of the Confederate 
army ; so, as they were standing as enemies towards one anoth 
er, as the case may be father against his son and a son 
against his father, as also one brother against another, or 
more than one, and so forth. In such circumstances it is un 
deniable that, whether in skirmish line or in a pitched battle, 
all unknowingly, the father can become the slayer of his son 
the son of his father; and one brother the slayer of another, 
and which events, probably, were more than a few. 

Now, thinking over all these horrible circumstances, my 
mind was struck with the idea, What a terrible sin and crime, 
in the eyes of God, the nation, as a whole, is committing in this 
terribly cruel and utterly inexcusable war. Then came the 
thought that, as God is perfectly just, and all these things are 
against his will and revealed Commandments, there is but too 
much cause to believe that at some time in the future the whole 
nation will be compelled to expiate all the present sins and 
crimes in some other way. After this came to my mind mine 
own condition. The question pressed itself upon my mind as 
to, What have I done to deserve the name of a traitor ? And 
what deed have I committed for which I deserve to be shot ? 
My conscience was clear, and the heart was positive that I never 
in my whole life had committed such a crime which justified 
guch a punishment. And, as to the service under the flag of 
the Union, I never had in my mind even the faintest possibil 
ity of committing a treasonable act, and still less have know 
ingly committed any such crime. But, then, what is the cause 
and reason that I am compelled constantly to hear that I am a 
rebel, a traitor, etc., and will be shot ? 

Then all at once the following idea flashed across my mind: 
"What, if in the inscrutable ways of the just Providence a 
special sacrifice was necessary to expiate all the sins and crimes 
of the nation at large committed in this unjustifiable and cruel 


war ? And what if I was singled out to furnish this sacrifice ? " 
To this question I instantly gave to myself a resolute and posi 
tive answer mentally. If I knew that this is the will and de 
mand of the universal Creator and Ruler, and if I knew that 
thereby the war would be stopped, and the Union of States 
and the Republic itself would be preserved, I would unflinch 
ingly submit to be shot, without any attempt to defend my in 
nocence against any and every accusation brought against me. 
Now, as it was said above, that the weather on that Sun 
day forenoon was beautifully clear and warm, and the sunrays, 
falling through the windows of the left hand side, were play 
ing upon the floor and the wall of the right hand side of the 
dispensary- room, and, as I was walking up and down 
through the hospital room (as it is marked in the dia 
gram), and was slightly swinging my wounded arm in conse 
quence of increasing pain, so, each time, going towards the 
dispensary, I looked with some pleasure at the play of the 
sunrays on the floor and the wall of the dispensary room. 
And, as both doors in the dispensary-room and the hospital- 
room were full open, nearly the whole wall with the two win 
dows on the righthand side of the dispensary were fully open 
to my view. Now, when the last above described questions 
flashed across my mind, being followed by my mental answer 
and resolution, I was walking towards the dispensary and 
looking at the fantastic displays of the sunrays on the right- 
side wall of the dispensary, and was just nearing that little 
table and chair marked on the diagram. In the very moment, 
as the above described resolution flashed across my mind, far 
quicker than the fall of lightning, the two windows disappear 
ed, and the whole wall, from ceiling to floor, became at once 
covered with thick and heavy clouds, and in the middle of 
those clouds protruded a representation or figure of the Al 
mighty Creator and Ruler of the universe. This sudden ap 
pearance was so majestic, sublime, and awe-producing that it 


almost broke me down from my feet. But, as I, at the very 
moment of the appearance of that vision, was in close prox 
imity to the little table and the chair, and, at the very mo 
ment of beholding it abruptly stopped in my walking; so 
grasping the back of the chair, I quickly sat down, and, drop 
ping my wounded arm upon the table, I began to observe and 
examine closely all particulars of the sublime vision, which 
continued to remain before my sight nearly, if not more than, 
a whole minute. So long, indeed, that I was enabled to 
observe and retain in memory every particular in detail, and 
which, with the permission and help of my Creator and Sav 
iour, I will undertake to describe here as plainly and distinct 
ly as my inadequate knowledge of the English language will 
enable me. The clouds were white and very compact. Some 
of them were bordered or encircled with blue, gray, and a few 
with an almost black border, and all were in mountainous 
clumps, just as we see them sometimes after a heavy rain 
storm, when the heavy wind changes, and, coming from the 
north, causes the clouds to ascend higher, and breaks them up 
by piling them up into mountains of more heavy and close 
compactness. Just so were these clouds extending themselves 
inside the dispensary more than three feet from the wall, and 
seemed to be slightly shaken as if a wind blew against 
them, or as if from any other force coming from inside the 
clouds themselves. In the very moment, as the wall and 
windows disappeared, and these clouds covered the whole wall 
from floor to ceiling, simultaneously, in the middle part of the 
clouds, and a little lower than half-way from the ceiling, ap 
peared a human form of undescribed magnificence and grand 
eur, being more than twice the size of any ordinary human be 
ing of large proportions. This human form protruded out of 
the clouds into the room to the loins or waist. The arms 
were outstretched from both sides of the body and further in 
side the room, and appeared somelike as if flying. The head 


and face were nearly round, the eyes wide open, large, and of 
heavenly blue color. The hair of the head and the beard very 
thick, long, and white like freshly fallen snow, and were flying 
backwards from the face, as if the head were flying with a 
mighty speed forwards, or as if a very strong wind or hurri 
cane were blowing into the face. The face looked as a full 
representation of majesty; was beautiful far more than I ever 
have seen of any human being, and the eyes were slightly 
turned towards my side, but not as much as to look straight at 
me. The body and arms were clothed in scarlet tunic; and 
over the left shoulder, as if thrown, were visible some 
kind of a garment of a bright blue color; but what kind of 
garment was that I could not see and do not know. It looked 
somelike that as the Saviour is represented in some sacred 
paintings. As the beard was parted in the middle of the chin, 
flying backwards over both shoulders, so it exposed the neck 
under the chin, and thus enabled me to see that the scarlet 
tunic was circularly cut out around the neck, and I could 
clearly see also that this cut-out was edged or bordered with 
either a narrow gold band or a gold cord or string, which vividly 
glistened or sparkled from the sunrays falling into the room 
through the windows of the left-hand side, and which, prob 
ably, prevented me to distinguish the gold edgings if they were 
of a band or a cord. The sleeves were wide at the wrist (some 
time called Greek sleeves), and cut just like the sleeves of the 
cassock of the priests in the Greek church; that is, made from 
the shoulder down gradually broader and wider, till at the 
wrist the sleeve is about two feet wide. And the edges around 
the end of the sleeves, just as the edge around the neck, were 
bordered by a gold band or cord, which, as around the neck, 
glittered like diamonds from the sunrays. I could not discern 
any other garment under this "cassock," as also what kind of 
a garment that of the blue color was ; it appeared to me only 
thrown over the left shoulder. This is all I had time to ex- 


amine and observe positively ; but these things which I have 
just described I saw clearly; and all of them impressed them 
selves upon my mind, and fixed themselves in my memory 
so permanently that I see all mentally as clearly and as vividly 
to the present day as if I saw them but a few days or weeks 
ago; and I feel nearly positive that I will see them throughout 
my whole remaining life on earth. 

Now, as I was sitting at the table, and, with awful aston 
ishment, observing this majestic and sublime vision in all par 
ticulars, all at once there appeared to my view Doctor Porter, 
and close behind him his assistant, the hospital Steward, Kel 
logg. And at the very moment, as the Doctor and Steward ex 
posed themselves to my view, coming across the room from the 
left-hand side of the dispensary (which side of the room was 
-not exposed to my view), and toward the sick room where I 
was, at that very moment the "vision" vanished, and the wall 
with the two windows reappeared to my sight. Now, just in 
the moment my eyes fell upon Doctor Porter and Steward 
Kellogg, and at which very moment the vision disappeared, I 
heard distinctly and clearly, as if whispered by a human be 
ing into my right ear, the following words in Russian language: 
"This is God-Father and God-Son I " Now, as beholding the 
sublime "vision," I was in awe and astonishment; so, by hear 
ing the above words whispered into my right ear, my mind was 
nearly bewildered by astonishment and confusion. Because 
these words I heard whispered into my ear just at the very 
moment when the vision disappeared, and mine eyes rested on 
the persons of Doctor Porter and Steward Kellogg, it appeared 
to my mind at that time that the words heard by me, "This is 
God-Father and God-Son/' referred to Doctor Porter and Steward 
Kellogg, as the former was an old man past seventy, and the 
latter a young man about twenty-five years of age. And this 
circumstance plunged my mind into utter confusion; and 
across my mind flashed the inquiry, What does it mean that 


the Doctor and Steward seemingly represent "God-Father and 
God-Son" ? But, in aftertimes, when I became convalescent, 
and my mind gradually became more steady and rational, 
often contemplating about this sublime vision and these words, 
I remembered the words spoken by our Saviour in answer to 
the Apostle Phillip, "I and mine Father are one." "Who sees 
me sees my Father." So, through these words of our Saviour 
I saw clearly, and became fully convinced, that the words 
heard by me, as whispered into my ear, 'were pronounced in 
reference to the vision ; in the one human form of which vision 
were represented the twofold faculties and attributes of Jesus, 
or of his sovereignty ; that is : God the Father as the Creator 
and Ruler of the Universe; and God the Son as the Saviour of 
the world and the human race, but both these attributes merg 
ing in one divine human form of Jesus Christ. And just here 
1 wish to state the following: First That at this time, when I 
was sitting at the table, and was observing the vision, there 
was not one single person less than twenty feet from me; but 
I heard the words whispered close to mine right ear ; moreover, 
there was not one single person neither in the hospital nor in 
the fort itself at that time who could understand and speak 
Russian besides me; but the above words were whispered into 
my ear in the Russian language. 

Hence, taking all these circumstances together, there is no 
question whatever that the words, "This is God-Father and 
God-Son," heard by me at that time, proceeded from entirely 
different sources than from ordinary means of human agency. 
In this I am perfectly positive. Second : There is no question 
whatever that the vision was not seen by the persons, or any 
one of them, who were in the dispensary at that time at least 
the doctor, the steward, and the hospital nurse (if there were 
no outsiders at that time). But I saw it as clearly and dis 
tinctly as any material object can be seen by good eyes and 
in clear daylight; and for such long duration as to give me 


ample time to observe and remember every particular of the 
vision. This question, "How can that possibly be accounted 
for that one man can see, and many others at the very same 
time wouldn't be able to see the same ?" puzzled me very much 
every time, in many after years, when I contemplated or med 
itated about the described vision, till a few years since, begin 
ning to read many works of spiritual philosophy by Emman 
uel Swedenborg, I found the explanation of this mystery. 
Describing and explaining the mystery of our Saviour's ap 
pearance to the apostles and others after his resurrection, as it 
is ingrafted in his gospel of the New Testament, Emmanuel 
Swedenborg says that the Lord God and Saviour, by his om 
nipotent power, and for reasons known only to his own per 
son, sometimes opens the spiritual sight of a man ; and that 
man whose spiritual sight has thus been opened is enabled to 
see all spiritual things, which the Saviour will cause to pre 
sent before man's natural eyes. Whereas, none of those whose 
spiritual sight has not been opened by the Saviour are able to 
see the same, as spiritual things can be discerned only spiritu 
ally (says the Apostle Paul); so no spiritual things can be 
seen with physical eyes if the spiritual sight of the individual 
is not opened by the Saviour for seeing the spiritual. 

This explained to me the whole mystery that puzzled me 
a good deal and many years. And, third: As I have received 
a religious education, and was always although very disobe 
dient a tolerably good believer in God and the teachings 
of the church (as far as I knew them), I remembered always 
in my prayers that there are three Persons in the Divine 
Trinity -God-Father, God-Son, and God-Holy Ghost. Now y 
in that above-described vision I saw one divine-human form, 
which contained in itself the two first persons, the Father and 
the Son (as I was informed by a whisper into my ear). But 
every time I meditated about the vision, and this was nearly 
every day since I became able to collect my mind so far as to 


be able to think, I was giving to myself the following ques 
tion : "I have seen the person of God-Father and God-Son, but 
the church teaches that these are two persons ; whereas I saw 
them in one divine form of a man. Moreover, the church 
teaches that there is a third person, God Holy Ghost. Will 
I ever see and understand the third person of the Holy and 
Divine Trinity ? The solution of this question will be given 
further on in its proper place, as it came to me in an incom 
prehensible or undefinable way from above. 

Now, as I was still sitting at that little table, bewildered 
with the awfulness of that described vision, and confused by 
the words I heard whispered into my ear, Dr. Porter came 
into the hospital room first, and, turning to the right from the 
entrance, he went around to speak to and examine the other 
sick and wounded ; and his assistant, Stewart Kellogg, came in 
right after him, having a white cup like a teacup in his hand. 
He came towards me where I was sitting at the table, and 
came near to me with the words, "Corporal Petroff, your arm." 
He abruptly stopped to advance nearer, or to speak more, but 
with some wonder looked for a few moments into my face. 
And then, coming close to me, he, in a mild and sympathetic 
voice, asked me, ''Do you feel very sick ?" to which I answer 
ed, "I feel very great pain in the arm." But this was far 
from the real truth. As he, undoubtedly, saw in my face the 
reflection of the inner condition of mine mind, caused by the 
events just past, his inquiry, so to say, meant something like 
asking, "What is the cause of your bewilderment and the un 
natural condition of your face ?'' So mine answer was only 
correct to his incorrect inquiry; but it settled the matter so 
far satisfactorily, as the next words of his were, "Let me see 
your arm." And with these words he proceeded to take off 
the bandages. When he uncovered the wounded arm he first 
looked for a moment at it; then he poured upon the largest 
wound, which formed itself on the upper part of the forearm, 


and just above the place where the bones, being split, fell 
asunder, some kind of a liquid, which he brought from the dis 
pensary in that teacup. This was for me, so to say, to jump 
out of the fire into flame. In the very moment, as he had 
thrown quickly and suddenly that liquid upon the wound, 
which was more than two inches large in diameter, there came 
from the wound some kind of a tsish something like that pro 
duced by lard or butter thrown upon hot iron, and also a lit 
tle like smoke and bad odor. But more than all that, in the 
very moment after I had seen that which is here stated, it 
went throughout my whole system like the strongest electric 
current, which caused me nearly to faint away; and the pain 
in the arm became utterly indescribable. So much it was so 
that this pain, all at once, caused me that moment to forget 
the vision and all the circumstances attendant to it. And, 
after he had rebandaged it, I utterly didn't know what I 
should do to stand the pain ; I could not rest in one place even 
a minute's time, but had to run violently around the whole 
hospital room, swinging my arm in every possible way. And 
I do honestly believe and think that only the thought about 
that sublime vision which I beheld that morning, and the 
words which I heard whispered into my ear, were the most 
powerful means by which my life was sustained. But even 
this was not of a long duration. I remember only, and that 
distinctly, that the same afternoon my senses began to be un 
steady and wandering, and toward the evening, before the sun 
set, I lost all control of my mind and senses, and that so com 
pletely that I positively do not know was I alive or not ; neither 
do I know in the least how many days I was in that condi 
tion. But I am sure that it lasted for many days, because I 
could remember afterwards, and do recollect even until 
now, that I had several different visions during that time. 
But as my senses were shattered and broken, these visions ap 
pear to me as undefined dreams, or hallucinations of feverish 


brains in "delirium tremens." So, as I am not positively 
sure, and am unable to describe them clearly, I will not state 

But I will describe here a few episodes or events at times 
when I at once regained my senses, and as suddenly lost them 
entirely again. In the first instance and I do not know at 
all how soon it happened after my total loss of senses on that 
Sunday afternoon I found myself standing outside the hos 
pital, and near me the hospital nurse, Phelps, holding me by 
the right arm. As soon as I recovered my senses, and became 
conscious of the surroundings, and whereabout I was, I looked 
at myself and became aware that I had on my body hospital 
nightclothes only long shirt and drawers, and boots on my 
feet, but nothing else whatever. Then, as soon as my senses 
grasped the situation, I heard this question from the nurse. 
Phelps, and could understand it clearly. He said, "Where do 
you go ? " To which I answered, "I go home." Now, I re 
member this clearly till now, although I cannot remember one 
single instance of having been told about this occurrence by 
any man whatever ; and as I am not perfectly sure in the cor- 
rectnesss of the description of it, I appeal to any one and all 
who were at that time in Fort Trumbull, and are among the 
living now, to corroborate it if correct, or correct it if erro 
neous ; but, according to my recollection, I describe it as a real 
occurrence. And, just in the moment I had given the above- 
mentioned answer to Phelphs, my mind broke up again ; and 
I do not know at all how I came back into the hospital-room 
neither do I know in the least what happened afterwards. The 
next time my senses returned to me at the very time when I 
was being carried, together with the couch I was lying upon, 
through the yard or space between the hospital building and 
the guard-house building, close to which building was standing r . 

another two-story frame house into which several wounded men 
were removed from the hospital. But on this occasion the re- 


turn of my senses was of such short duration that I could 
afterwards, and can now, remember only my being carried upon 
my bed through the yard, and saw the building whereto I was 
carried, but do not know at all how the carriers managed and 
succeeded in carrying me into the second story of that building 
up very narrow stairs. The next time when my senses re 
turned I saw Dr. Porter busy around me, measuring, or taking 
measure, of the upper part of my wounded arm; and it seems 
to me he had spoken something to me, or to all of us who were 
in that room I don't know, because I did not understand his 
words then I fell again into my trance, and positively do not 
know at all how many days I was in that building. Then my 
senses returned to me just at that time when I was walking 
on foot through the same yard from that frame building 
towards the hospital building, with Hospital Nurse Phelps 
holding me under my right arm. And I was so far conscious 
of all that it struck me as improper and nude, as I was clothed 
only in hospital bed-clothes, and wrapped around in a bed- 
sheet, having only boots on ; so it appeared to me that I ought 
to put on at least an overcoat for the sake of decency; but I 
cannot remember as to having made any remark on that. 

Then I remember when I came into the dispensary. As it 
was the first time after having seen in that room the above- 
described vision that I came into the dispensary, that room 
appeared to me strangely. I remember having found there 
several persons, but cannot recollect them personally, except 
Doctor Porter, who spoke some words to me very kindly and 
friendly, but I could not understand what he said ; and close 
to him I saw his assistant, Hospital Steward Kellogg; and also 
a musician from the artillery band, a German by the name of 
Keller, who said to me in German that I must lie down on a 
large table, temporarily placed in the middle of the dispensary, 
and be covered with a bed-sheet, and adding that my arm had 
to be amputated. So I stretched myself upon that table, and 


by Steward Kellogg was given chloroform to inhale, which was 
anything but agreeable to smell; but soon my senses were be 
numbed, I became unconscious, and the operation began. I 
distinctly remember till the present day that I regained my 
senses during the operation, and just at that time when Doc 
tor Porter was sawing through the bone, but did not feel any 
pain whatever ; but, turning my face to the left side, I stared 
at the work with curiosity and some kind of satisfaction ; then 
Steward Kellogg, who stood at the other side of the table, put 
his hand before my eyes; and I remember that after he had 
done so I lifted my right hand and pushed his hand away, 
saying, "I want to look at that." But after a few seconds, be 
ginning to feel some pain, I asked him to give me more chloro 
form, which he did; then, becoming again unconscious, I re 
mained so till everything was finished, and I became minus 
one limb. Then, becoming conscious again, and seeing that 
all is finished, I made an attempt to raise myself from the 
table, with the intention to walk into the hospital room, but 
the Doctor peremptorily prevented me from doing so ; and I was 
lifted up and carried into the hospital room by two stout men. 
So far I remember the different circumstances and events of 
that time, but not much further. 

Then, from that time, my life in Fort Trumbull appears 
to me more like a dream than reality, as it is not continuous at 
all, but rather broken in fragments, as it was the last months 
of my life in the field ; it appears to me only that my unac 
countable condition extended into far longer duration at a time, 
than it was in the field ; and the intervals, when the senses be 
came active and rational, were of shorter time than in the field. 
So, to describe that time conscientiously and as a truth, I am 
utterly incapable. Hence, I will describe only such events of 
which I am positively sure that they occurred, and in such a 
way a they were preserved in my memory. 

Several months after my arm was amputated (I do not 


know how many, but it seems to me that it was early in the 
spring of 1865, or in the last part of 1864), I was transferred, 
with many other convalescent, wounded and sick soldiers, into 
one room of the officers' apartments in one of the bastions of 
the fort proper. It was a large room, with a very high ceiling, 
having several windows towards the east. I do not remember 
how many of us occupied that room, but think not less than 
eighteen or twenty; and I remember that I occupied a bunk 
together with Corporal Ford of the same company with me, 
who was shot through the hand. Our bunk was standing with 
the headboard towards the wall in which the windows were; 
hence, being in it, I was with my head eastward, and the feet 
westward; and, when the weather was clear, as soon as the sun 
began to appear above the horizon, the sunrays immediately 
struck the windows and penetrated into our room. Fort Trum- 
bull stands on a high cliff- bank, having upon the east and 
south a broad sheet of water. In this room I staid, with many 
others, for several months, till I was able to be about. 

Now, as is natural, becoming more and more convales 
cent, and being compelled to keep my bed only on account of 
the arm, as the stump healed up but very slowly and gradual 
ly, I often woke up very early in the mornings, and, not wish 
ing to sleep more, I passed the time by observing the play of 
the sunrays on the ceiling and the opposite western wall. So 
it was that on a morning of February or March, 1865 I can 
not remember the month nor the day, as I did not keep a 
memorandum, but I am perfectly sure that it was in the first 
months of 1865 having woke up about or between four and 
five o'clock in the morning, I found the morning to be very 
clear and beautiful, and the sunrays were displaying the most 
interesting things and figures on the ceiling and the western 
wall of the room. All other occupants of the room, and my 
bunk comrade Ford, too, were sound asleep, as from no one 
came any sign of being awake. So, looking at the playthings 


of the sunrays, and listening to the different melodies of snor 
ing from all parts of the room, and lying on my back for some 
time, I began to think about my poor condition, asking myself 
mentally, "What shall I do on leaving the hospital ?" I 
have now but one arm, and cannot be of any amount of use in 
the army. If I knew the English language I could perform 
some duty as a clerk in some of the military offices, but I am 
utterly incompetent on account of the language to perform 
such service. And, on the other hand, if I apply for a dis 
charge and go out of the army, what will I do then ? The 
very same ignorance of English will block my way every 
where. ''What shall I do ?" This question forced itself upon 
my mind repeatedly, and several times, without enabling me to 
give a satisfactory answer. So, thinking and revolving in my 
mind the possibilities, as also the impediments lying in my 
way, I, all at once, was struck with something before my eyes, 
which at the first I supposed to be some kind of a shadow 
coming from an object, which may have happened to pass be 
tween the sun and the windows of our room, which windows 
were behind my head. But, looking more closely at it, I viv 
idly, distinctly, and positively recognized in that shadow the 
form of my mother, standing about two feet distant from the 
footboard of our bunk. Now, as I was just thinking and 
striving to solve in my mind what would be the best for me to 
do, namely: To remain in the army, or apply for my discharge 
and go out; so, after being positively convinced by observing 
the stature and recognizing the face that it is my mother, and 
without any thought whatever how she could appear there, 
and being utterly unable to explain to myself even to the present 
day how it came that I threw to her such a question without 
any preliminary interrogation or explanation as soon 
as I became fully sure and convinced that it was my mother 
standing before me, I uttered to her the following question, 
and in the Russian language, "Mother, what shall I do ?" and 


in the very moment that I had spoken the last word she rais 
ed her right hand and arm as high as her head, and, pointing 
with her forefinger towards the ceiling, she answered, and in 
the Russian language also, u To pray/' And this answer was 
pronounced by her in a half-suppressed voice, just loud enough 
for me to hear and understand, apparently as if she was 
thoughtful not to disturb the sleep of any other occupant of 
that room; and in the very moment she dropped that word, 
"To pray," she vanished. 

Now, every living man in the room was soundly sleeping. 
Not one of them, by any single manifestation, exhibited him 
self to be in a wakeful condition; and, besides this, there was 
not one single person who could understand the Russian lan 
guage. But I asked her in Russian, and received from her the 
answer in the same language. I did not sleep then, but was 
awake probably for more than half an hour before she appear 
ed to me; neither did I fall asleep after the vision, but remain 
ed awake the rest of the morning, until all the others, one 
after another, were awake. So I am perfectly sure and positive 
that it was not a dream, but a vision in reality, without any 
doubt whatever. I perfectly recognized the features of her 
face, but could not distinguish exactly if her eyes were open 
or shut, as they appeared to me as being very deep sunken in 
the sockets, which was not the case when I left her on depart 
ing from St. Petersburg; and, besides this, she was standing be 
fore my sight as if in a shade, or as when we see objects in in 
sufficient light, or during the twilight or dawn. I perfectly 
recognized her voice when she gave me the answer to my in 
quiry. Also I distinctly observed the dress of her head and 
body, and am sure that she had them not at that time when I 
was yet in St. Petersburg. By this appearance of her to me I 
concluded that she had died. 

Now, this was the second vision which I saw in broad 
daylight, and with open eyes and full consciousness; and not 


only saw with my natural eyes the visions, but heard with my 
natural ears some words directed and spoken to me, which in 
no way could come from a human being, as at both times the 
words were spoken to me in the Russian language, when I am 
perfectly sure not one living soul in Fort Trumbull could 
speak Russian. 

After the vision of my mother I resolved to remain in the 
army till the expiration of the term of my enlistment, and 
perform as much duty as I would be able to perform. And, 
as I often afterwards was in an unaccountable condition, and 
almost every day trying to recall to my memory all the cir 
cumstances of the day previous, I encountered more or less 
long spaces of blank duration, of which I did not know any 
thing for certain; therefore, I will mention here but such 
events as I am certain that they happened in the same way as 
I describe them. 

After becoming so far recuperated as to leave the room 
and be about outdoors, I was given several kinds of work to 
perform which I was more or less able to fulfill. And, at 
last, I was made provost-sergeant, and was ordered to take 
every day the prisoners confined in the fort outside the inclos- 
ure to make a proper and regular road leading from the fort 
into the city of New London, which road went through rocks 
covered with underbrush and woods in a wild condition. The 
prisoners were many, and among them several were desper 
ate characters, to manage whom, to say the least, I had more 
than a little difficulty on account of my ignorance of 'English. 
One morning, being outside the fort at work on the road with 
the prisoners, among whom were several who carried a ball 
and chain, and among these a young fellow, who was a desert 
er several times, and carried on his foot a heavy chain and 
ball; just after the "doctor's call" was sounded in the fort, 
one of the prisoners came to me telling me that he was sick 
and wanted to see the doctor. As that morning I felt in my 


stump considerably more pain than usual. I was desirous to 
see the doctor, too, for to ask for some liniment to rub the 
stump with. So, taking the sick prisoner with me, I went in 
to the fort to see the doctor, leaving all the other prisoners at 
work in charge of one of the guards. After returning with 
the sick prisoner to the place of our work, I noticed some 
prisoners sneering and laughing, seemingly at my expense. 
Suspecting something wrong or unusual, I told the guards to 
bring the prisoners together to be counted. As soon as they 
were all together, I saw at once that the young fellow who 
was a constant deserter, and one of the most daring and des 
perate characters, was missing. I at once ordered one of the 
guards to search through the woods and see if he was not hid 
ing himself behind some rocks or brushes. But in a few min 
utes he came back and reported that there was no sign what 
ever of his whereabouts. So, giving to the guards a strict or 
der to keep all the prisoners in one place together, I took along 
with me one of the guards, and went to search for the missing 
man myself. After some search behind the rocks and trees, I 
found, in some kind of a cave, the ball and chain broken off 
from the foot; and just a few rods from the place where the 
prisoner was crushing with a heavy hammer the rock-stones 
for macadamizing the road, and undoubtedly with the very 
same hammer, he knocked off the chain from his foot, as the 
hammer was there, too, with some other implements which we 
used in breaking the rock*. 

NoWfit could easily be seen that all this was a precon 
ceived and well-arranged job to bring me into trouble. The 
chain was very heavy and strong, and could not be broken 
easily and quickly without making a noise, which would be 
heard by many around, and especially by the guards. But 
nobody knew, or they pretended not to know anything about 
that affair; but the ball and chain were there, and the man 
non est. As the time was close to dinner, I formed my squad 


and marched into the fort. Coming in, I reported the event to 
the officer of the day, expecting to be plunged into a great 
trouble. But, as the war was over, I suppose the authorities in 
the fort did not care much about losing such a desperate fel 
low as this prisoner was; and probably they saw, too, that this 
thing was executed with the knowledge of many others, if not 
all, except myself. So they did not press it to a formal inves 
tigation, and the thing passed over. But, nevertheless, this af 
fair made such an impression upon my mind that I lost the 
equilibrium of my senses again, and for several days was so 
sick at heart and mind that I was unable to perform any duty. 
But when the trouble passed over in my mind, I resumed my 
duties again. 

A few weeks after this event there came rumors that Ma 
jor G. Chapin, who was Fort-Commander at that time, had 
been made Battalion-Commander, and all of us in the fort were 
to constitute the nucleus of the Third Battalion, with Major 
Chapin for our commander, and that we will soon leave the 
fort and go somewhere else. In a short time there came an or 
der to prepare for moving. Now, as I have said, the escape of 
that prisoner severely unsettled my senses again, and I became 
often conscious that I lost my accountability once in awhile 
again. So the excitement of the preparations for moving in 
creased this defect, and so much so that I became sick physi 
cally and was compelled to go on the sick list; and after that 
for the most of the time, I was at least half, if not fully, unac 
countable. That morning when we left Fort Trumbull I was 
almost totally unaccountable, and do not know at all when and 
how we started. But, going through the city of New London, 
I regained my senses and retained them till we came aboard a 
steamer; and I remembered afterwards what I saw during that 
time, as well in the streets of New London as on arriving 
upon the deck of the steamer. But being on the vessel, in 
a very short time I lost my memory or accountability 


again, and do not know at all whereabout we passed, and what 
was to be seen on the voyage. My senses returned to me 
again when we were in barracks, and I was lying upon my 
back in a bunk, in company with very many soldiers around 
me. Trying to remember where about we went on our road 
to these barracks, I could faintly recollect having seen sailing 
vessels passing by and some buildings ashore which we passed 
by, but all in such a nebulous and undefined shape as if it were 
seen in a feverish dream. So, desiring to know where I was, I 
asked the nearest to me where we were quartered, and was told 
that we were upon an island (name I cannot remember) in New 
York harbor. 

After a few days on that island I was detailed on recruit 
ing service. I was given three privates, and ordered to pro 
ceed to New York city and report myself for duty, with the 
three privates, as Recruiting Sergeant in the office of Captain 
Foote. On this duty I was about six months, and when our 
battalion was filled up sufficiently there came an order to 
close up our business and shut up the office, and I was or 
dered by Captain Foote to return with my three men to the 
headquarters on the island. During this service in New York 
nothing exceptional occurred, and seemingly all went smooth 
ly and satisfactorily for Captain Foote, as I never heard from 
him any harsh or cross words, as he was a very good man. 

Returning to the island, I reported myself to the com 
mander, Major Chapin, who told me to stay in the barracks 
and await further orders. After a few days I was told that 
Major Chapin wanted to see me, and I must report myself to 
him immediately. Reporting myself to him, Major Chapin 
told me that our battalion is ordered to go to San Francisco 
CaL, and will start on the voyage in a few days; and, therefore, 
he asks me if I want to be discharged, or remain in the ser 
vice till my term of enlistment is expired, as the voyage will 
take about one month on the ocean, and probably I would not 


like to undergo the hardships of so long a sea travel, add 
ing that if I want to be discharged I will receive my dis 
charge on the morrow; but if I want to serve out my term of 
enlistment nobody can force me to leave the service. I an 
swered him that if it is possible for me to remain I would pre 
fer to serve out my proper term, and have my discharge on 
account of the expiration of my term of service rather than on 
account of disability. To this the Major said that certainly I 
can remain, but I must perform some kind of duty by which I 
may be of some use in the service. I replied that I am ready 
and willing to perform any duty he will assign me to, provid 
ed I am able to perform it satisfactorily, as my knowledge of 
English is yet a great obstacle. Then he told me to go back 
to the barracks, and when he has found some duty for me to 
perform he will send for me, and the next morning he sent for 
me to report myself to him. So, coming to him, he told me 
that he would appoint me to be an orderly to the commanding 
officer of the battalion, and I would have to be on duty in full 
dress every day around him, wherever he should be ordered by 
the War Department to go with the battalion, asking me if I 
felt able to perform that duty, to which I answered that I felt 
able, and hoped to obey his orders and discharge my duty sat 
isfactorily. Then he told me to prepare myself for the voyage, 
as the battalion would start for California in two or three days, 
and after I have made myself ready for the voyage to report 
myself to him for duty in full dress. So, in accordance with 
these orders, having made myself ready for moving, the next 
morning I reported myself to him for duty. The battalion 
started in two days after this for New York city, and right 
away went aboard of an ocean steamer for California; and dur 
ing the whole trip, which lasted nearly a monch, I was every 
day on duty around Major Chapin and constantly in his view 
being always in the first-cabin passengers' part of the steamer. 
On this voyage, as far as I am able to recollect, nothing excep- 

58 DECEMBER 10, 1865 

tional happened; and on one of the first days of December, 
1865, we came to San Francisco, and, landing there, went 
straight off to the Presidio. 

After our arrival in the Presidio I found out that my term 
of service would expire on the 10th of December, 1865, the 
very same month in which we came to California. So, on the 
morning of the 10th of December, reporting myself, as usual, 
to the Major, Gordon Chapin now promoted to be Brevet - 
Colonel of the United States Army for duty as orderly, I 
reported to him also that the term of my service expired that 
very same morning. He was somewhat surprised, and asked 
me if I was sure of that, to which I answered that the regi 
mental books in the batallion office testified that it was so. 
Then he said to me: "Well, you need not perform any duty 
hereafter, and you may go to your quarters." But a few hours 
after he sent his cook after me; and, on my reporting to him, 
he told me that I was correct; my term of service expired that 
very morning. But if I wish to remain in the army I can do 
so, and he will re-enlist me for three or five years longer, and 
I can remain with him in the same duty as orderly as long as 
I chose, to which I replied that it is against the military laws 
to enlist a disabled man, and especially a one-armed man. He 
answered: "That is correct; but I will write to General Hal- 
leek in Washington about this, and I am sure that I will re 
ceive the permit from the War Department. I may rest assur 
ed that my remaining in the service will be approved. And 
besides that I would have the right to remain in the service as 
long as I liked, and would be discharged at any time I should 
apply.'' To this I replied that I cannot give a positive answer 
right then, but must think it over. So he said: "All right; 
but now, as your term of service has expired, the rations of 
subsistence for you cannot be drawn any longer; hence, you 
cannot take your meals at the barracks. But, as you cannot 
live without food, so you may come every day at the meal- 

JANUARY 10, 1866 59 

time to my house, and eat and drink at my table, together with 
the cook, page and the other servants," which 1 certainly ac 
cepted with many thanks, and did go into his house nearly 
every day till 1 received my discharge papers. During this 
time, always when he chanced to see me, he inquired about my 
resolution to remain in the service and around him; but I 
could not give him a positive and final answer. So it went on 
a whole month. 

And on the morning of January 10, 1866, he sent for me, 
and, at my coming to him, he said to me that they 
had received an order from the War Department by which the 
battalion is ordered to be ready to start for Arizona on any day, 
and he expects to receive an order to start in a very few days, 
asking me if I will remain in the army and with him. Learn 
ing this news, I told him positively that I cannot remain in 
the service, as, if the battalion goes into the field, it will very 
likely have to move from one place to another often, and that 
would be but too hard for me to carry my things from one 
place to another, and keep up with the troops in marching, to 
which he said that I needn't be troubled on this account; my 
things would be transported in the headquarters' wagons, and 
I could ride in his family wagon, a large two-horse team which 
he had bought for that purpose, to give proper accommodations 
for his family and his servants. And, as my duty would be, 
as heretofore, to be always around him, I would, of necessity, 
have to ride in his wagon, and will not need to march with 
the troops. I was very sorry, as he was a very good and kind 
man a gentleman in every way; and as I could plainly see 
that he was very desirous to retain me around him, I suppose 
more on account of his two little sons who liked to be around 
me ; so I said that it was very hard for me to refuse the accept 
ance of all his proffered advantages. But, as my resolution 
was already fixed, I thanked him as well as I was able, and 
told him that I could not accept his kind and generous prom- 


ises and advantages, as it is too hard for me to remain any 
longer in the military service, and I asked him for my dis 
charge papers. He evidently was disappointed at my answer; 
and, if he is yet among the living, and will have a chance to 
read these depositions, I sincerely ask herewith his forgiveness 
if I caused some pain to his feelings by my answer, but I could 
not help it. I was unable to express myself in English, so, as 
I wished to express myself; and to accept his proffer, and re 
main in the service, it was nearly utterly impossible for me. 
So he said to me to go into the Adjutant's office and ask for 
my papers, telling the clerk in the office that Colonel Chapin 
sent me after them, and to bring the papers to him for signing, 
which I did that very moment. And when I brough t the papers 
to him he once more ccunseled and advised me to remain; but, 
as I finally told him the same reasons that prevented my further 
remaining in the service, he signed the papers and handed them 

This happened on the 10th of January, 1866; and, as my 
term of service expired on the 10th of December, 1865, so it is 
to be seen that Colonel Chapin kept me around him, aiid 
supplied me with food from his own table, just a full month. 
Having received my papers, 1 went the very same morning to 
San Francisco, found the Paymaster's office, and received my 
money in full, and, according to my final statement papers, 
from Colonel Fry. Then I went to a clothing-store close by, 
and bought me a suit of citizen's clothes, as till that time I 
continued to wear my military dress. After this I went back 
to the Presidio after my few things left there, and also to bid 
the officers farewell, and express my thankfulness to them for 
their kind treatment of me, especially in the last months of 
my being in the service. Colonel Chapin, as several other offi 
cers, gave me very good private recommendations, all of which, 
except a very long letter written by Captain Brown in the name 
of all the officers of our regiment being at that time in the 


Presidio, and directed to General Miller, who was just then 
appointed Collector of Customs in the port of San Francisco, 
asking him to give me a situation in the Custom House, and 
handed to me in an open envelope to carry to General Miller, 
with the respects and greetings of all the officers then present; 
except this letter, all the other recommendation papers I sa 
credly preserved as mementoes to the very present day. These 
last events dissolved my connection with the military service 
for the whole remainder of my life. 

I have gone into such an extensive and detailed description 
of the last time of my being in the army with a two-fold pur 
pose in view: (1) If anyone who was then with me will have 
the opportunity to read these Depositions, he will testify to 
the truthfulness of my words, at least as far as he is able to 
recollect the circumstances here described, and as far as they 
fell under his observation. And (2) that if anything of seem 
ing truth was evolved from the accusations which to hear I 
was subjected so often and so long as to my being "a rebel," 
'a traitor," "a coward," etc., so, by the treatment received by 
me in the last months of my service, I could reasonably con 
clude that if anything was committed by me wrong or crim 
inal it was done unintentionally and in some state of mental 
unaccountability, as the attests and recommendations, official 
and private, given to me by the officers under whose eyes and 
command I spent the last months of my being in the army, 
and who were at the time of my discharge in the Presidio, San 
Francisco, Cal., furnish ample proof and evidence. But, as 
regards my own self, being fully aware and conscientiously 
sure that I was in nowise guilty of deserving to be branded 
by such epithets as above mentioned, I couldn't accept them 
otherwise than as an insult hurled at me, with the intention 
to plague me; and by keeping me in constant irritation and 
anger to force and provoke me, if possible, to deeds of violence 
and crime in revenge or retaliation for the insults received. 


But, though sometimes it was nearly unbearable; nevertheless, 
keeping constantly in mind the command of our Saviour to 
forgive our enemies, and pray for them who calumniate and 
injure us and in accordance with the petition in the Lord's 
Prayer "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors," etc. 
I never retaliated on any one; neither harbored secret hate 
against any one of my insulters and abusers. 

After a few days the battalion started for Arizona; and, 
having seen them safely embark aboard a steamer, I bade them 
my last farewell at the wharf, and returned to the place of my 
lodging in a hotel on Pacific street. There were several more 
discharged soldiers from our regiment, and a few from the 
same company with me. As is always the case, being exceed 
ingly happy at regaining our freedom of actions and choos- 
ings, the "demon of drink" got the best of us. And, as I had 
had the greatest cause to feel happy and lucky from receiving 
my discharge, and thereby being set free from the dreadful and 
constant anxiety of possible commitment of some grave blun 
der through misunderstanding of orders from my superiors, I 
naturally became so much the greater victim of that terrible 
scourge "drink." And only God knows how foolishly I con 
ducted myself during the few weeks of my remaining at that 
time in San Francisco. And probably many a one who knew 
me at that time, and became in some degree acquainted with 
me, or in some way became able to be an observer of my con 
duct in San Francisco during the years of my second coming 
to that city, in 1874, has wondered over the change in my con 
duct and actions, remembering how it was at that time, and 
how it is now. For the benefit of such, if there are any, I will 
openly confess and humbly declare that this change was 
brought about neither by mine own personal strength and vo 
lition, nor by compulsion from outside my own self by others 
who may have had some controlling power to exercise over me. 
No, indeed. This nowise could be brought about with such ;: a' ; 


result. This change in my life-conduct and actions, as well as 
my whole character, judgment and disposition, was brought 
about gradually by the Blessed Saviour of mankind. And it 
required only from my side, or on mine part, the full belief in 
him, and submissive obedience to all his teachings and com 
mandments as they are handed over to us in the Four Gospels 
and Acts of the Apostles. This was the power and the fulcrum 
which and on which my whole life turned around. So much 
is it so that only some fifteen years ago I sometimes was so de 
spondent and cast down as to be nearly able to take my own 
life. But now, since that change was wrought in me by my 
Saviour and God, as I shall describe further on, I am so con 
tent, and happy, and satisfied that, if my life would last for a 
hundred years yet, I would not wish to have anything more, 
neither would aspire to anything of this world. It is often 
repeated in print, "Peace that passeth all understanding." But 
how many or, oh, how few fully experience and realize that 
blessed condition which can come to man only and solely 
through, and in consequence of, his voluntary and willing 
obedience to the Word of God, expressed and explained in the 
Four Gospels and in the Acts of Apostles I How it comes will 
be described further on. 

Not being able to find any employment in San Francisco, 
I concluded to go back to the East in company with some oth 
er discharged soldiers who were, equally with me, unsuccess 
ful in finding work. And, taking passage on the opposition 
line steamer, the old and rickety Moses Taylor, in the last part 
of February we started for Nicaragua; as the steamer could 
not go to Panama on account of being in opposition to the 
regular Pacific Mail Company. Passing through some hard 
ships and adventures, we crossed Nicaragua fronl San Juan "del* 
Norte to Gray town, and from thence to New York. In that 
city I remained about two weeks; but, as I had. no acquaint 
ances or friends there^ I went from New York to &ew 'Saven, 


Conn., from whence I had gone into the army, and where I 
had a few good friends. 1 was in New Haven but one week, 
when, through some well-disposed German friends, I found 
employment in the hardware factory of J. B. Sargent & Co., 
Mr. Sargent himself giving me the position of a day- watchman 
on the premises. After a few months as watchman, Mr. Sar 
gent asked me if I could stay in the factory office every Sun 
day, from the time in the morning when the night-watchman 
left the premises till the time in the evening when he came for 
the stay over night. This duty I accepted, and, in conse 
quence, I had to be in the factory every day in the week, and 
from earliest dawn till late in the evening, so that I could see 
the outside world only by gaslight. A few months after 
this I was made a sworn city weigher and measurer. I had to 
weigh or measure everything that came into the factory or 
went out of it. And, as I had to furnish legal certificates of 
weight or measure, if required by the seller or deliver, I had 
to keep certain books for that purpose. And this, in turn, fa 
cilitated in some degree my speedier learning of English. 

Now, as I had to stay in the factory office all day on Sun 
day, except as once in a few hours I passed around through 
all the buildings of the factory in order to see that everything 
was all right and no danger from fires anywhere, I had too 
much idle time in the office, and to use it profitably for learn 
ing the English language I began to buy books for reading on 
Sundays in the office. Having read a few secular books, I 
concluded that it would be still more profitable to read the Bi 
ble in the English language; and as I had read the Bible 
through in several other languages in Russia, so reading it 
now in English I could learn the English language still better 
than from reading any other book, by remembering what I 
had read and learned from reading the Bible in other lan 
guages. So, concluding to buy a Bible after I had read 
through the last book I was reading, it happened, the very 


same week, that a book agent came around canvassing for 
subscriptions for Bibles. I subscribed for a large Bible ($12) 
at once, asking him to deliver the Bible as soon as it was pos 
sible for him the sooner the better settling with him the 
conditions of payment for it in monthly installments. I re 
ceived the book the next week. I would state here this truth, 
that at the time I concluded to read the Bible in the office I 
was actuated only by the desire to learn the language and pass 
the idle time profitably. But, after a few Sundays of constant 
and attentive reading, it dawned upon my mind that my 
reading the Bible is not only for the learning of English, but 
it must inevitably result in far greater benefit to me than 
knowledge of all languages combined. In my very beginning 
to read the Bible I found in different places pretty distinct ex 
planations of my indefinite visions which I had in the hospital 
during the time when I was utterly lost to rational life and 
mental capability, after my vision of the Almighty Jehovah ; 
but, as those visions are in my memory only like dreams, 
without definite connections with realities, so I will not de 
scribe them, not being sure that they will be given correct and 

But in other directions the reading of the Bible plunged 
me into great perplexity and confusion, causing me often and 
very intently to think and meditate over the visions and the 
words of the Bible. For example, as I read the words in the 
Old Testament, "No man can see God and live," and "No 
man has seen God," etc., I was struck and confounded as to 
what to believe. Shall I believe my own eyes and ears as I 
had seen and heard in the hospital, "God the Father" and 
"God the Son,' 7 or shall I believe the words of the Old Testa 
ment of the Mosaic dispensation ? I could not repudiate 
that which I had seen clearly with my natural eyes and in the 
broad daylight; also I had heard distinctly the whisper into 
my ear, which in nowise could proceed from human 


agency. But I was also averse to disbelieving the words 
of the Bible. Hence praying, thinking, and constantly medi 
tating about this mystery of diversity, at last gradually it 
came down upon rny mind the following explanation of it: In 
our dispensation, and after the resurrection of our Saviour Je 
sus Christ, he became God of the whole human race, as the 
evangelist John says: "In the beginning was the Word, and 
the Word was with God, and the Word was God," etc.; "and 
the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us," etc. So also 
the words of our Saviour testify: "I and my Father are one," 
etc. "Who sees me sees my Father"; "all power is given to me 
in heaven and in earth," and many other passages. So, hav 
ing become God of the heavens and earth, he appeared several 
times to his apostles and other followers of him in the very 
same body in which he lived among them, in which body he 
was crucified and buried in the sepulcher, and which body 
he resurrected from death by his own power of divinity, which 
was inherent in him from the eternal Deity, or his Heavenly 
Father, as his own words testify this too: "As the Father has 
life in himself, so also has the Son life in himself ' ; "No man 
taketh my life from me; I have the power to lay it down, and 
have the power to take it up again," and many other verses. 
So, as he appeared many times before his ascension, to the 
apostles and other believers, in the same human body in which 
he was living on earth, and as he ascended into the heavens in 
the very same human body, and in full view of all his believ 
ers and followers, since that time it became possible for God to 
appear before the eyes of any human being in reality and in a 
human form, if, by his infinite wisdom and mercy, he chooses 
to reveal himself to a common mortal. Whereas, during the 
Mosaic dispensation, no man could see God, as God was only 
the Word, and became flesh and man only after the resurrec 
tion of Christ, antl in him. So it was the perfect truth that 
"no man can see God and live," as it is in the Old Testament; 


and all the worthies of the Mosaic dispensation saw God only 
in dreams, and obscurely, or else they saw angels in human 
form as messengers sent to them from heaven, and they con 
versed with the persons to whom they were sent down. Thus 
the Scriptures of the Mosaic Dispensation are not in harmony, 
in some features, with the Scriptures of the New Testament of 
our Saviour, Lord and God himself, given by himself and 
without the medium of another, as in the Old Testament, 
through Moses, prophets, and seers. This the religious teach 
ers ought to consider, but they do not. 

Further on, reading the New Testament, in the "Sermon 
on the Mount,' 7 the words of our Saviour, "Blessed are the 
pure in heart, for they shall see God" struck my mind heavily. 
For a considerable time I could not give me the account by 
which I would be able to harmonize my vision of the Al 
mighty Jehovah with the above words of the Saviour of the 
world, as in no way could I consider myself, even for a mo 
ment, to be pure in heart. But it seemed to me that these 
words of our Saviour implied the sense that only "the pure in 
heart" can "see God." And I saw God, as it was whispered 
into my ear that the human form which I saw floating in the 
clouds was the "God-Father and God-Son.'' After a long 
time of prayer and meditation about this, it was given me to 
explain it in this way : I was utterly and positively innocent 
of any such crime as would demand or justify the infliction of 
capital punishment upon me; but I was very often subjected 
to hear the gravest accusations which would justify the pun 
ishment, and that this highest punishment would be imposed 
upon me; in consequence of which the idea came into my mind 
that probably the Almighty Providence demanded a special 
sacrifice to be offered for the restoration of peace in this our 
country, and the preservation of the republic. As I was walk 
ing up and down in the hospital room on that Sunday morn 
ing, and as it came to my mind that probably I was selected 


for that purpose; as I utterly did not know of committing 
such a crime for which I must be shot, the vision of the Al 
mighty "God-Father" and "God-Son" appeared just then, and 
in the very moment when my firm resolution, which I mental 
ly uttered to my own self, viz : "If I knew that by my death 
the war would be ended, peace restored, and the republic pre 
served ; if it is the will of God to bring about such sacrifice if 
I knew all this, I would willingly let myself be condemned 
without any attempt on my part to prove myself innocent." 
So, as I was innocent of committing such a crime, and was 
willing to suffer the punishment for such a crime, and that 
for the sole benefit of the country and the nation at large, I 
was recognized as being "pure in heart" in that respect; and 
this called out that sublime vision of the Universal Creator 
and Ruler, and enabled me to behold it at that time. All of 
these events were described above. Besides this there were 
many other explanations conferred upon me by the study of 
the Bible. Some of them will be stated and explained further 
on and in their proper places, but to describe all would de 
mand too much writing, and be almost impossible for me, so I 
will mention only those which are more weighty, and can 
give more benefit to mankind. 

Now, I am obliged to state here, by the way, that, ever since 
my coming into the factory of Messrs. Sargent & Co., I was 
again subjected to all sorts of insult, abuse and persecution by 
the workers in the factory. As I had to be at the gates al 
ways so as to look out that no stranger should go into the fac 
tory, and nothing should be carried out without permission 
from the proper authorities, so at the time of coming to work, 
and at the time of leaving the premises after quitting work, I 
was constantly exposed to all kinds of insult and abuse. And, 
as I had to look around the premises every day at noon-time 
that no great damage should be perpetrated wantonly by the 
boys and young fellows who remained on the premises during 


the noon-hour, having their dinner with them, so this, too, 
augmented thair hatred to me, and also gave them more chances 
to plague and abuse me. This was the more hard to bear, as 
through constant hearing I became more able to understand 
the English language; but having very little chance to speak, 
I was very far behind with mine tongue in English; so much 
was it so that always, when I began to tell them not to do cer 
tain things because it was wrong, and entailed damage to the 
Company, I was each time subjected to the greatest ridicule 
and derision in consequence of my poor English. And to use 
my tongue in the English language for defending myself against 
abuse and insult was positively out of the question, as such an 
attempt would, unquestionably, make the thing only worse 
and intolerable; hence, I had to listen to everything and bury 
it in my breast. But even this, instead of giving me some re 
lief or amelioration in my suffering, rather encouraged all ill- 
disposed towards me to augment and increase their insults and 
abuse; as, probably, in my silent suffering and unresisting 
submission to all their wrongs, they saw only fear on my part 
to resist wrong, or revenge myself for insult and abuse. So, to 
all the previous means of insult and abuse, they added the 
benefit of cowardice to me. In these very often almost unbear 
able conditions I remained over three years 3 during which time 
I did as much as I could to acquire more knowledge of Eng- 
glish so as to be able to look for some other occupation. 

At last it went so far that I could not stand it any longer, 
and I resolved to leave the factory. So one evening, going 
home from the factory together with Mr. J. B. Sargent, I told 
him, as far as I was able, all about my condition and suffer 
ings, of which he, undoubtedly, was fully aware. And, hav 
ing told him the abuses and insults I was subjected constantly 
to suffer, I submitted to him that it was impossible for me to 
stand it any longer. And therefore I resolved, because I am 
compelled to leave his factory if he cannot give me some other 


duty where I would not be so exposed to insults and abuses. 
To his inquiry what I possibly could do, so as not to be in the 
way of the laboring men, I told him that I was acquainted 
with book-keeping, and that my progress in learning English 
enabled me in some degree to undertake such work, provided 
there were not grave or great responsibilities and trust, adding 
that if he could give me such kind of work inside the office I 
would remain with him ; but if not then I am obliged to leave 
his employment. To this he answered that he will seek to find 
some such work for me, as he wished to keep me in his em 
ploy all my life, if I would like it. And in a few days 
after this conversation I was given a position to keep the books 
of account of time of the mechanical employes and the ma 
terials consumed, and had to work in the office. 

Thus my condition had been slightly changed, but not 
much, as in the office the majority of the assistants were j^oung 
men; and, if they did not openly insult me, they constantly 
laughed at and ridiculed my English, and at any emergency 
were conversing among themselves about me derisively. But 
this I could bear tolerably; hence, I never made any complaint 
against them. And so I had to be in the office every day in 
the week and the year. Every Sunday I read the Bible nearly 
all day, and was not only reading, but, more properly to say, 
was closely studying that Book of books. As Mr. Sargent 
nearly every Sunday, either before noon or after noon, came 
into the office to write letters, he saw me constantly reading 
the Bible. And on one Sunday, coming into the office as usual, 
and finding me closely reading the Bible, he, after the usual 
words of greeting, said tome, "Mr. Petroff, it is hard to find 
another such decent man as you are." And upon my inquiry 
in what way I was so exemplary a man, he said: "Because I 
may come at any time on Sunday here into the office, but it is 
a sure thing that I will find you reading the Bible." To this 
I told him that, in my opinion, the morality and decency does 


not reside in reading of the Bible, but in the obedient carry 
ing out of the Bible's teachings and commandments in our 
every-day life; without this all our reading and knowing of 
the Bible will not only not benefit us, but will do positive in 
jury. Upon that he laughed, but did not say anything more 
on this subject. 

Now, till this time I was accustomed to drink all kinds of 
intoxicants beer, wine, liquors and everything and often 
drank far more than I ought to permit myself to drink, and 
especially on Sunday evenings, as I belonged to a German 
Sanger Society, which held every Sunday night a family gath 
ering for conversation, singing, dancing, and especially drink 
ing, at which nights I drank sometimes too much. This, un 
doubtedly, was communicated to Mr. Sargent ; and on one Sun 
day, coming into the office, he began to give me advice in re 
gard to my conduct, and especially excessive drinking of in 
toxicants. He made this very polite and delicate, and more 
like a good father to his wayward son than as an employer to 
his employe. I inwardly admitted and consciously approved 
all his words of advice and warning, but how to stop drinking 
was the principal dilemma. If I continued to visit the Sun 
day evening festivities, the stopping of drinking was absolutely 
out of the question. I could not remember one single member of 
the Society who did not drink more or less; so, being among 
them, it was utterly impossible for me to abstain from drink 
ing. But, on the other hand, recognizing the words of Mr. 
Sargent as perfect truth, and for my own benefit, I was very 
desirous to accept-and follow his advice by quitting the drink 
ing of intoxicants altogether. In consequence of this, and on 
mature meditation and prayer, I concluded to discontinue my 
visits to the "Society hall," and also the frequenting of sa 
loons and other drinking resorts, to break up entirely. Now, I 
did not tell any one single man about the words of advice of 
Mr. Sargent, and nobody knew anything about it; hence, after 


my discontinuing the visits to the Society, and ceasing to go 
into saloons and other drinking-places, all, and especially the 
Germans, concluded that, as I was now a sort of book keeper, 
I had become too proud to mix myself with "common mortals" 
of the mechanic and laboring persuasion. And this raised a 
perfect "bedlam" of abuse and insult upon me. As I never 
revenged myself in any possible way, so onlythe "lame one" 
did not give me a kick because he could not; but all others be 
gan to persecute me to their hearts' content. So, to escape as 
much as possible from persecution and pain, I resolved to 
stay in my room in the evenings, and not go on the street at 
all without an urgent necessity. So, every evening, after hav 
ing had my supper, I went straight to my room, and stayed 
at home reading books and newspapers every day in the week; 
month, and year. Now, as every intelligent person can easily 
understand, such a life cannot last very long: the whole day 
and every day in the week in the office at work in writing and 
figuring, then to come home and stay all the evening in the 
room reading, with only the exercise of going to the office in 
the morning, of going for dinner and back at noon, and going 
home in the evening; and in addition to this highly injurious 
mode of life for the physical system, there were constantly in 
flicted on me all kinds of insults and abuses, which kept me 
in almost constant irritation and anger. I never could eat my 
meals at such times when many were at the table with me, 
and often had to leave the table without having eaten any 
thing, except drinking one or two cups of coffee or tea. Now, 
this condition of my life nearly brought back my mental 
troubles experienced in the army life. I lost my sleep; and ? 
as I am positively sure, because I counted the days and 
nights, at one period of time I did not sleep for twenty-eight 
consecutive nights, and was reduced to such a state that, as 
soon as I began writing and figuring in the office, the sleepi 
ness would overpower me to such an extent that the pen or 
lead pencil would fall out of my fingers. 

SICK 73 

The first consequence of such a condition showed itself in 
the closing of my bowels and the inability of the stomach to 
digest. So much was it so that at that time, and it was in the 
summer of 1869, my bowels never moved oftener than once in 
three or four days, and very often once in five or six days; 
and a few times it went so far that my bowels did not move 
for eight days, and I was compelled, at such instances, to take 
pills, which brought about the moving, but with such excruci- 
ciating pains and cramps in the bowels that it was sometimes 
almost impossible to stand. Afterwards came the constant or 
every-day cramps in the stomach and bowels, just as I had 
them in the field six years previous. But this time they came 
oftener and oftener, and when the cramps attacked me there 
was but one way to get rid of them, and that was dropping 
the work to walk around fast, without sitting down before they 
were over, which I always did either inside the factory or out 
side in the fresh air. But the pains and cramps came oftener 
and oftener, although I tried several kinds of patent medi 
cine, and consulted doctors, but all with no good results; till, 
at last, in 1874, it was increased to such an extent that 1 was 
unable to sit fctill at reading or writing more than half an 
hour at a time without getting very bad cramps and pains in 
my stomach and bowels, and I was almost unable to perform 
my work in the office. At that time I was recommended to 
apply for assistance to Dr. Wintshell, an American, and an ex 
ceptionally fine and conscientious gentleman, who was doctor 
and surgeon in the Northern army during the war for the Un 
ion. After he was a few times to see me in my lodging, he ad 
vised me to take more exercise at evenings and in the fresh 
air, inviting me, at any time I would be disposed to do so, to 
come to see him in the office at his residence, adding as a rea 
son for that that he was very glad to have some conversation 
about the field life during the war, as he had been in the field 
himself, and liked to recall to memory as much as possible" of 


the different events. This I did a few times; but as to talk in 
English it was for me but too hard, and demanded from me 
too great exertion of mental force: it made a great impression 
upon my too weak stomach and bowels. So, one evening, be 
ing in his office, "I told him that I could hardly continue to 
visit him, as each time, after my visit to him, I felt far more 
pain in my stomach and bowels, and could not sleep nearly 
all night. After thinking a few minutes, he told me: "I will 
tell you the truth, not as a doctor but as a friend, that you 
cannot recover your health as long as you remain in your 
place and continue your occupation. I will do all I can for 
you, but the medical science has no fixed means to eradicate 
your troubles; there is no medicine in our knowledge which 
could give you permanent relief. You will constantly grow 
worse and worse till all hope for recovery will be out of reach. 
There is but one way by which you may regain you health so 
far as to live yet for several years, and I will tell you the 
means if you will promise me not to .tell anybody, and espe 
cially a doctor, that I have told you. You may inquire of any 
doctor about the correctness of this advice, but do not tell him 
that I advised you to do it." Having received from me the 
honest promise which he demanded, he said to me: "The way 
and means are most simple, and all depends upon if you can 
carry them out. That is, if you can live without work that de 
mands constant and careful attention; and especially in 
doors, as. yours is. Then drop your occupation as soon as pos 
sible. Go somewhere into the country, and into a region 
which is hilly and mountainous, where you could go often up 
hill and down hill; walk every day as much as you can with 
out fatiguing yourself too much. Pass your time as well as 
you can, be careful what you eat and what you drink, and es 
pecially do not think about, and do not worry yourself about, 
the world and the ugly doings of men. But live as quiet and 
steady as it is possible for you; and only by such living, posi- 


tively according to the laws of nature, can you yet recuperate 
your health even so far as to be able to live for many years. 
But if you will remain in your occupation, I can tell you in 
advance that probably after but a few months you will be 
ready for boxing-up, and for being stowedMn the mother 
earth. Believe me I And if you will accept my advice, and 
will carry it out, you will surely see, in the future, the truth 
of my words." I thanked him for his kind advice, and went 
home; and since that time I never have been in his office 

After this I thought often and much about this advice, 
and how it would be possible for me to carry it out. But it 
was evident, at least to me, that I had no means to carry it out. 
My pension for the loss of my arm was only eighteen dollars 
per month. From this eighteen dollars I had to lay aside five 
dollars a month to pay the premium on my life-insurance 
policy of one thousand dollars, to which I was persuaded by 
others in the factory, insuring my life in 1872 for that sum, 
and having to pay a premium of about sixty dollars a year, or 
five dollars a month. Now, without any other income, this 
would leave me but thirteen dollars a month of my pension. 
And to live on that sum was out of the question altogether. I 
had accumulated a few hundred dollars which I had deposited 
for safe keeping with Mr. J. B. Sargent & Co. ; but this money 
would not last me long, eepecially when I should be obliged to 
have anything to do with doctors and apothecaries. So it was 
for me as nearly a death by leaving my occupation as by re 
maining in it. In this condition I remained about three 
months, constantly going from bad to worse. At last I became 
so bad that I could not, on an average, sit still at my work 
more than half an hour at a time, and, indeed, had to spend 
n running around so as to keep the cramps away almost two- 
thirds of the working time; but for my life I could not help 
it; as, notwithstanding this, I was often, so to say, doubled up 


by the cramps and pain in my stomach and bowels, and had 
to be carried home in a wagon, not being able to walk on the 

At last my constant prayers were heard, and the Blessed 
Saviour sent help to me. In September, 1874, I read in the 
newspapers that our pension had been increased to twenty-four 
. dollars a month; receiving this intelligence, I calculated that, 
leaving five dollars a month for the payment of the policy 
premium, I could yet have nineteen dollars a month of my 
pension, which money, by strict economy, would probably carry 
me through in living honestly as long as God will permit me 
to live. So, sending my pension certificate to Washington for 
exchange to the higher rate, I concluded to give up my occu 
pation as soon as the new certificate of pension should be fur 
nished to me. That new certificate I received in October. And 
in the same month, having received my pension, I informed 
Mr. Sargent of my intention to leave his employment. He, 
evidently, was much astonished at this, as he several times in 
previous years had told me that I need not be in any trouble 
about my future, as I might be sure that I could stay in his 
employ all my life, or, at least, as long as I choose to stay with 
him. So he began to bring all and every possible means to 
persuade me not to leave his employ, promising to give me 
larger wages if I was not satisfied with those I received. But 
I told him that, in regard to wages, I was perfectly satisfied, 
and in nowise did I expect to receive more any where else. But 
I am compelled to leave him on account of my inability to 
work in consequence of the cramps and pain in my stomach 
and bowels; which trouble, undoubtedly, is much augmented 
by the insults and abuses I had constantly to suffer. I told 
him all about the advice given to me by Doctor Wintshell, only 
withholding the name of the doctor in fulfillment of my prom 
ise given to Doctor Wintshell. He evidently was very much 
affected and disappointed. And I was exceedingly sorry for 


him, as he had lost his wife but a few weeks before, and was 
left with a family of twelve children, the youngest of them 
being a baby. But I could not do otherwise, as I felt but too 
clearly that continuing there longer was nothing less than to 
prepare myself to be "boxed up" ; and all this I explained to 
Mr. Sargent, asking him to return to me the money which was 
in his safe keeping, but which belonged to me; this he did very 
unwillingly, and only after he called from the factory a Ger 
man contractor, by name Mr. Ruff, who, coming into the office, 
and learning the case, exerted all he could to persuade me to 
remain, to whom I was able in German to explain all the 
causes which compelled me to leave. So, handing to me the 
check for my money, he said to me that I should not fail to 
write and notify him where I settled myself for living, and 
how I got along. So I turned all my books and papers over to 
the secretary of the company, Mr. Baldwin, and bid a good- 
by to the only place in America where I have worked for 
wages; as, till the time of this writing, nearly twelve years, 
since then I am still utterly unable to accept any responsibil 
ity of steady work on account of the pains in stomach and 
bowels, and I have not any hope ever to be able. 

Now, having quit all my connection with the factory, it 
was the next thing to think about where to go. As I was in 
San Francisco, Cal., before, and as I knew that that city was 
of seventy mountains in comparison with Rome of seven 
hills and that the climate there would give me the best op 
portunity to carry out the advice of Dr. Wintshell, I con 
cluded to go to California the second time. And, as I con 
versed some time with one of my friends an organist and 
teacher of vocal and instrumental music a German, with the 
name F. Lust, about California, I told him that I had con 
cluded to go to San Francisco again, and he expressed his de 
sire to go, too. So, in haste, selling some things, and pack 
ing up all we could carry along, we started for New York, and 


in two days were going to Aspinwall on board the steamer 
Colon. To describe the voyage is unnecessary, except to say 
that I felt on water much better than I expected in my bad 
condition of health; and the last part of November, 1874, we 
landed in San Francisco, Cal. 

After having carried all our baggage to the hotel, the next 
thing was to find private lodgings. My friend, Mr. Lust, made 
some acquaintances in music stores (being a very good musi 
cian), and I found a small furnished room in a private house 
in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Pike, 313 Taylor street, in which 
house I lived nearly four years. And there, soon after having 
properly arranged myself, I began to walk around every day, 
and all day and evening. There was no rainy or stormy 
weather bad enough to prevent me from leaving the house. 
And, as it was just the beginning of the rain season when we 
came to California, it was but too hard on me to be always 
walking around outdoors. But there was no alternative. As 
I was hardly able to sit still inside the house at all, so I had to 
walk around outdoors almost the whole time when I was not 
in bed. Then, also, I could eat but very little; I took one 
meal at dinner-time in a restaurant for 25 cents a day, and 
could not eat the half of what was given to me for that small 
price; and for breakfast and supper ^1 ate only bread with 
water in my room, the stomach being unable to digest anything 
more, and I had not the least craving for anything better. 

Now, in the rainy and stormy days I certainly had all that 
I could do to protect myself with an umbrella; but in the 
bright and sunny winter days I could employ my time with 
some reading. I began to read the daily newspapers, but very 
soon I got tired of such reading. I had preserved from my 
life in the army, pocket New Testaments in English and in the 
German languages, which are with me till the present day. 
Now, as I could not well understand the English, but could the 
German, I began to carry in my pocket constantly the little 


Testament in the German language. And, as my custom was 
to go as far as I could into the suburbs outside the city proper, 
I always did go either into the Golden Gate Park, which was 
only in the embryo at that time, or into one of the cemeteries, 
arriving in one of which places I always found a convenient 
place to rest for half an hour, during which time I diligently 
not only read, but studied, the New Testament, going through 
it from the first page to the last many times, during which 
reading, at every difficult passage, or any conspicuous verse or 
command, I used to stop the reading, and meditated about that 
saying or statement. 

Then I concluded to change my common method of read 
ing by opening the Testament at random, and beginning to 
read there where mine eyes fell the first time at the opening 
of the Book. Now, at the very first time and at the very first 
morning when I began to open and read the Testament at ran 
dom, in that morning opening my little book, mine eyes fell 
upon Matthew xvii: 5, which reads, "This is my beloved Son, 
in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." Reading the Test 
ament in the ordinary way, I had read this passage perhaps 
more different" times than any other passage, because it ap 
peared to my mind always somewhat strange and incompre 
hensible, just as many other passages containing the own 
words of our Saviour; but this time the above words struck my 
mind in an entirely different way. It appeared to me that in 
these words there was far more than we can see at the first 
sight. So I began to read those words over again and again, 
thinking and meditating upon them ; and at last I stopped on 
the words, "hear ye him." It was evident to me that these 
words were the puzzle which troubled my mind, so I began to 
dissect these words analytically in order to get the best under 
standing of what they meant to convey to the reader. Doing 
so, I remembered that it is quite the usual way for parents to 
say to their children, "You must'Aear me/' which means just 


as if it was said, "You must obey me" ; or, "You must do what 
I say.'! It is a common thing, also, when children, having 
come from school, begin to tell their father or mother about 
the order and arrangements of their teacher; for the father or 
mother, as the case may be, to tell their children, "You must 
hear your teacher" ; which means, "You must obey your teach 
er"; or "hear ye him" the teacher. All these expressions 
meant to convey one and the same thing: "You must do that, 
which is said by him, who is in authority." 

Now, as the Almighty Jehovah, the I Am, proclaimed 
from the clouds that Jesus of Nazareth, our God and Saviour, 
is this "beloved Son, in whom I am, God-Father, well pleased," 
adding to this proclamation the peremptory command and 
law, "hear ye him," which means nothing less than "obey ye 
him"; or "Do what he says" what "his beloved Son" says 
and commands. So it is positively self-evident that every one 
who professes to believe in Christ as the true Messiah and 
Saviour of the world must obey and carry out in every-day 
life all the teachings and commandments of Christ, as they are 
transmitted to us through the Four Gospels and partially 
through the Acts of the Apostles certainly as far as it is pos 
sible for us to do so. Having come to this light, and recalling 
to my memory many sayings and teachings of Christ himself, 
as they are recorded in the Gospels, I came more and more, 
and at last, to the positive conclusion that unless man willing 
ly and freely obeys Christ's teaching and commandments in 
his every-day life, he cannot expect anything from Christ. 
This is incontrovertible. Who can expect any reward for will 
ful disobedience ? And no one, who is even slightly acquaint 
ed with the teachings of the Bible, can deny that non-observ 
ance of the gospel teachings and the commandments of Christ 
is open disobedience to Christ, and at the same time open dis 
obedience to the will and law of his Eternal Father "which is 
in heaven," as he solemnly proclaimed on the Mount of Trans 
figuration, to obey His beloved Son Christ. 


After having arrived at this conclusion, I resolved to read 
still more diligently the gospel teachings of our Saviour, and 
noticing and remembering all his teachings and command 
ments, to. observe and obey them freely and willingly as far as 
the world would allow me to do so. I must now confess here 
openly that, in the beginning of this, noticing carefully all his 
teachings, and especially the so-called "Sermon on the Mount," 
it appeared to me that no man could follow and obey that; 
but afterwards, gradually, the more I was anxious to follow 
and obey his teachings and commandments the easier it be 
came for me to follow and obey them. And after a few months 
of steady perseverance in obeying his gospel teachings, it be 
came for me not only easy and light to carry them out in my 
every-day life, but I gradually began to feel positive pleasure 
to follow his gospel teachings and commandments, and at the 
same time I became more and more averse to doing such 
things or acts as are contrary to his teachings. 

And what was the greatest consequence from this conduct 
of mine in regard to obedience to him and to his teachings 
and commandments ? This : The more I strove and exerted 
myself to follow his teachings and obey his commandments, as 
I found them recorded in the Four Gospels and Acts of the 
Apostles, as also in some degree in the Apostolic Epistles, the 
more and more I began to comprehend by heart the Saviour's 
teachings and commandments. Before that, I understood 
them only intellectually, just as a man understands any and 
every other reading of science or knowledge; but, at this stage 
of my progress, I began gradually to comprehend the inner 
worth and value of his gospel teachings, which is in the moral 
and physical benefit to him who begins to obey his command 
ments and observe his gospel teachings. And then I became 
more and more fully aware of the stupendous truth of his 
words, viz. : "My doctrine is not mine, but his (Father's) that 
sent me." If any man will do his (Father's) will, he shall 
know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak 


of myself." (St. John vii: 16, 17.) Now, as the will of his 
Eternal Father "that sent him" was expressed on the Mount 
of Transfiguration (quoted above), and consisted in the com 
mand to "hear," to "obey," to "follow" his belov 
ed Son Jesus Christ, so obeying Christ's commandments 
and observing his teachings as they are given to us in the Four 
Gospels and the Acts, man does "the will of his Father 
which sent him" into the world to teach and redeem mankind, 
and thereby acquires the grace to be enlightened from above 
and "know of the doctrine." 

And I had but too ample opportunity to verify the truth 
fulness of these words of his. As the Archbishop of the Greek- 
Russian Church, Nestor, with whom I was nearly a year in 
the capacity of private secretary, and whom I had to help in 
translating sermons of the most distinguished teachers, from 
the Russian language into English (to be delivered in the 
Greek-Russian Church by him in English), and at which work 
I had opportunity to find often such words and teachings that 
were positively contrary to the gospel teachings of Christ him 
self; so, as I had, at every such instance, expressed my opinion 
that this teaching was incorrect, Bishop Nestor always at 
such times demanded from me explanation and proof that the 
teaching in that sermon was erroneous. And, to satisfy him, 
and advance the gospel teachings of Christ at the same time, I 
explained everything according to the gospel teachings of 
Christ himself, and quoted Christ's own words for proof, from 
the Gospels; and on one such occasion he listened to my 
explanations with exceptional attention. When I had finish 
ed my explanations, he fell backwards in his large easy-chair 
with the exclamation and a deep sigh, "0 God Almighty, 
how wonderful ! how wonderful !" Being in some degree sur 
prised by his words, I asked him, "Your Eminence, may I ask 
you what is so wonderful to you ?" To which he answered 
"It is most wonderful to me how well you understand the 


Now, these were words spoken by a church prelate who at 
tained almost the highest degree of eminence in the Greek- 
Russian church, and whose greatest delight and pastime was 
in reading and studying the writings of the fathers, reading 
the Bible, and intermittent delivery of prayers. But he ex 
pressed the profoundest wonder about my knowledge of the 
Scriptures. And here I may add this that before I began to 
go into the Russian church, and became acquainted with him, 
I was not in any church for nearly twenty years, neither was 
I a reader of any religious journal or paper ; but all that knowl 
edge came simply by reading the New Testament, and through 
obedient following of the Saviour's gospel teachings, and car 
rying out his commandments in my every-day life. 

On another occasion one of the priests of the Russian 
church, having come to see me in my humble place of living, 
sitting and conversing about the Scriptural teachings, and 
about the different teachings of the respective church denom 
inations of the Christian religion, he said tome: "If I will not 
be too inquisitive, hence impolite, I wish to ask you where 
you received your education and such diverse knowledge ? " 
Not knowing the cause and aim of this inquiry, I imitated the 
Saviour in giving his answer to the Scribes and Pharisees, who 
liked to know by what authority he performed his works and 
doings, and answered him by a contra-inquiry thus: "If it will 
not look presumptuous, hence impolite, I would wish to know 
the motive and reason of your inquiry," to which he said: "I 
am more than a good deal interested to know where about or in 
what institution you acquired such knowledge of the Scriptural 
teachings which you exhibit in conversation ? " Accepting it 
in some degree as flattering, I laughed and answered in some 
jocular way, "In a Russian theological seminary. " This 
brought a laugh on his part, and then he said: "No, that 
cannot be. I was educated and graduated in the best theologi 
cal seminary in Russia, and after graduating from the semi- 


nary I went through the theological academy, and know per 
fectly well how and what these institutions teach and instruct; 
it is entirely different from your knowledge." Then I saw fit 
to satisfy his desire, and told him thus : "If you sincerely and 
indeed believe in Christ as your God and Saviour, you must 
unquestionably believe in the words and sayings recorded in 
the Four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles as his (Christ's) 
own words. Then, if you believe in all his words as coming 
from our Eternal Father and the Creator of all ('mine doctrine 
is not mine, but his who sent me,' his Eternal Father), you will 
find there and then that he says: 'Who will do the will of my 
Father which is in heaven, he shall know of my doctrine,' etc. ; 
this gives us incontrovertible proof, provided we believe sin 
cerely in his words that there is a way and means by which 
we can arrive at far superior knowledge of the Scriptural teach 
ings than by means of man's theological-seminary education. 
Now, he says that 'Who will do the will of my Father,' etc. 
this means 'who will' obey and carry out in every-day life the 
words of command and law of his Father 'shall know of my 
doctrine' ; and in the same Gospels of Christ you will find the 
will and the law of his and our Eternal Father, pronounced on 
the 'Mount of Transfiguration' in the following words: 'This 
is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased ; hear ye him/ 
The words 'hear ye him' mean 'obey ye him,' or 'do all he 
says' ; this no believer can deny. Hence, it is clearly evident 
that we must obey and observe everything and all which he 
teaches in the Four Gospels and the Acts, and do this in obedi 
ence to his command to 'observe all things whatsoever I 
(Christ) have commanded you,' etc. (Matt, xxviii : 20.) There 
fore, if we follow his teachings and obey his command 
ments, as we find them recorded and transmitted to us in the 
Four Gospels and the Acts as his own words, we 'shall' and we 
will 'know his doctrine,' his teachings, far better than we can 
acquire that knowledge by means of human education. All 


human education goes into man through the intellect. But 
this education comes from the 'uncreated light' the Saviour's 
own Spirit of 'light and life' which operates upon the heart 
of man, and man becomes able to perceive the truth with his 
heart, and then communicate his discovery to the intellect, 
which, in its turn, stores it away in the faculty called 'the mem 
ory,' and preserves it for future use. This is what the Apostle 
Paul expresses in his Epistle, saying, 'Spiritual things are dis 
cerned spiritually/ and not by mental or intellectual com 
munication from other human beings. Now, as I have for 
several years past, and till now, striven to obey his (the 
Saviour's) teachings and commandments, and that in obedi 
ence to his last command before his ascension (Matt, xxviii: 
20), and without caring much what the different Christian (?) 
churches teach and demand to obey; so, in positive accordance 
with his promise (to know his doctrine), I receive more and 
more light upon the Scriptural teachings from him, and 
through his Spirit of light and life. 'My words are Spirit, and 
they are life," says the Blessed Saviour. That is the cause and 
the whole secret why I know the Scriptural teachings quite 
different than all you great theologians and public instructors 
know and understand them. That this is a naked truth every 
one can find out for himself; all he has to do is this: (1) To 
believe sincerely that the Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ, is 
the Eternal Father (Jehovah, I Am) himself, having lived in 
human flesh and form among men on earth. Before his in 
carnation and glorification, God was only a Spirit, known to 
man only by the word 'God' ; but after his life, passion, resur 
rection and the glorification of his body, and his ascension 
with that body into the realms of eternal life, God becam 6 
known to man not only by word, but by a glorified human 
form in Christ Jesus; (2) believing in him as the Universal 
Creator and Ruler (St. John i: 1, 2, 3, 4, 14), as well as the 
Saviour of mankind, believe also that all the words which are 



recorded in the New Testament are his own teachings and com 
mandments, indeed; (3) believing in the first and second 
points as a matter of unquestionable necessity, observe all his 
teachings, and obey all his commandments (as they are given 
to us in the New Testament), and there is no doubt whatever 
that every such one will attain to the same knowledge of the 
Scriptures, and probably far greater, than I possess. That is 
all I can tell you now-'' Having satisfied his curiosity, and 
probably having received some new views upon the Scriptures, 
we conversed for awhile longer, and then he departed. 


This conversation, and that with the Archbishop Nestor, 
happened in 1880 and 1881; but we have to go back in our 
description to 1876. Now, as it was said previously, I con 
tinued to walk around outdoors every day from early morning, 
and every evening till bed-time. And I may add here that it 
is exceedingly wonderful to me how I could stand all that, as 
many an evening, in the winter season, during the heaviest 
rainstorm and wind, I came home all wet and muddy outside, 
and wet to the bone inside from perspiration, and so wet and 
so weak and cast down that I had a very faint hope to leave my 
bed on the next morning. And very often, also, in the morn 
ing I felt almost even more tired than I was the preceding 
evening. But there came always some shining and clear days, 
when I was able to resume my reading of the New Testament, 
and this gave me powerful help and stimulus for recuperation. 
And in my room at home I spent about two hours every day in 
fervent prayer, which practice I continue till the very present 

So passed the year 1875. And in the summer of 1876 I 
began to feel somewhat better, as I could sit a little longer at 
a time, and the cramps and pain in the bowels were not so 
severe as they were before, and so I could sit still longer at a 
time, and was enabled to read and study the teachings of our 
Saviour so much better. And as I diligently strove to follow 
his teachings, and obey his commandments in my intercourse 
and actions towards my fellow-men in my every-day life, I per 
ceptibly and consciously could see my progress in understand 
ing the gospel teachings. And the more I strove to follow and 


obey his teachings and commandments, the more rapidly I be 
gan to comprehend them. 

One evening in September, 1876 (the date I cannot re 
member), I came home as usual about 9 P. M. Meeting in the 
hall Mrs. Pike and her oldest daughter, Miss Annie, I conversed 
with them a few minutes, and then went to the second floor 
into my room. I occupied a very little room, with one window 
to the street and eastward so small a room that the bedstead 
took more than half the space in the room; and the bed stood 
with the foot-board close to the window; hence, lying in bed, 
my face and eyes were towards the window and eastward, and 
the window had outside blinds and inside shades, and the room 
had but one door opening to the stair gangway. So, coming 
into the room, and lighting a candle (as I did not use the gas), 
I, as usual, closed securely first the blinds, and then, shutting 
the window, pulled down the shade. Then, undressing myself, 
I sat awhile in meditation and contemplation about everything 
I had done and spoken on that day, to see if I haven't done 
anything against the Commandments, or even the teachings of 
our Saviour. Then, after having rested awhile in that way, I 
undressed myself finally, performed my evening prayer as 
usual, and putting out the candle went to bed. The room was 
pitch dark, so that not the least idea was there to see anything. 
As the past day and evening were of very fine weather, I was 
less tired than usual, and did not feel very sleepy. So, lying 
upon my back, with my eyes wide open, but not seeing the 
least thing in the room, I began to recall to my memory some 
prayers in the Russian language, and mentally prayed, repeat 
ing them. Doing this, my eyes, all at once, were attracted 
by something shining, having appeared about above the win 
dow. Looking at that spot closely, I saw distinctly that it 
slowly took the form of a perfect circle, having the size of 
about one foot in diameter, and the hoop itself about two 
inches broad; it was a bright yellow or golden color, emitting 


from itself a little shine (nimbus) inside and outside of. the 
circle. It appeared in perfect shape, and recognizable above 
my feet and not far from the ceiling, just about five feet above 
my body (as far as I was able to judge in that darkness), and 
moved very slowly along the whole length of my outstretched 
body; and, having come straight above my head, it became 
stationary, and remaining in that place for several seconds, if 
not minutes, it finally disappeared. Now, being somewhat 
surprised with this phenomenal appearance, and thinking 
closely about what could possibly produce such an appearance, 
my eyes were again attracted to another bright spot which ap 
peared apparently in the very same place as the former. This 
time that bright spot resolved into a perfect form of a bird, 
somewhat smaller than a dove. I could distinctly see the head 
with outstretched neck, outstretched wings and tail, as of a 
flying dove; but neither head and neck, nor the wings or tail, 
were in motion. And, just as it became in all outlines the form 
of a bird, it began to float slowly above my body towards my 
head, just in the same way as the bright circle did; but the 
head, neck, wings and tail remained without motion. Then, 
coming just above my head, and in the very same place where 
the circle disappeared, it stopped to float; and, remaining 
awhile stationary, as the circle did, it finally disappeared also. 
Here I am obliged to deviate again from the proper line 
of description, in order to give a better understanding of the 
following events. In all these twelve years, since the vision 
in the dispensary in 1864 (as described above) till this time in 
1876, I very often was thinking about the following: All 
Christian churches teach the trinity of the Godhead as con 
sisting of three persons in one God. In this I was instructed 
from my childhood. Now, in my vision in the hospital dis 
pensary in 1864 I saw with open eyes and in broad daylight 
one majestic human form, which, at the very same time, 
through the mysterious whisper into my ear, I was informed 


was -the "God-Father" and ''God-Son" ; so I have seen two per 
sons of the Trinity, and that in one human form. But, ac 
cording to the teachings of the Christian churches there re 
mains yet one (the third) person of the Holy Trinity, the per 
son of the Holy Ghost- So, each time I was thinking and 
meditating about this, I always asked myself mentally, Will 
I ever attain the favor and grace to know this mystery by see 
ing the person of the Holy Ghost ? But I must add here that 
on this evening I did not think about this at all; neither can I 
recollect of having meditated about this during that same day. 
Now, just after the vision of that shining golden ring, and 
right after it of the form of a bird of the same color and bright 
ness, it struck my mind that this appearance is the Holy 
Ghost (Spirit). I affirm here that this was not said to me so 
as to be heard by the natural organ of hearing (ear); but it 
was impressed upon my mind so powerfully and real that I 
was at once almost positively convinced that it was the Holy 
Spirit indeed. As this idea impressed itself upon my mind, 
in the greatest haste I jumped out of my bed, and falling 
upon my knees I began to pray. Then, after but a few min 
utes of my prayer, I began to feel heat by my whole body, as 
if a great fire was near me, or as if I was in hot water or in 
steam. After that my whole body began to perspire, and with 
such an unnatural perspiration that it is for me utterly im 
possible to describe adequately. I can say only that the 
tears ran out of my eyes as they never did before, and the wa 
ter of perspiration ran down my whole body as if it was pour 
ed over my head, and in a very few minutes all my clothes I 
had on two shirts and drawers were wet as if I came from 
out the water, and I began to feel chilly; and so quick came 
the change from intense heat, which caused that unnatural 
perspiration, to a chilling cold, that in a very few seconds I 
was shaking with chill and could not pray any longer. So I 
ceased to pray, and raising myself up I intended to light my 


candle so as to be able to change the wet clothes I had on for 
dry ones; but I was so trembling from the chill that I was ut 
terly unable to find the matches. So, in haste again, I jump 
ed into my bed, and covered myself all over my head, and 
having done so, in a very few seconds I fell asleep, and into 
such a deep and sound sleep that I cannot remember of having 
slept so sound ever before or after that night. As long as I 
can recall to memory, all my life I had, and have now, to get up 
several times during the night for natural purposes; but this 
night I never woke up one single time, arid it seemed to me v 
that I slept the whole night without even once moving from 
one side of the body upon the other. But, awaking in the 
morning, and far later than I usually rose up, I found myself 
literally as if in a pool of water. Not only my shirts and 
drawers, but even all the bed clothes were wet, as if they were 
all night exposed outdoors under a heavy fog or dew. And, 
as it was not warm in the room, when I got out of my bed I 
visibly noticed some kind of steam rising up from my bed 
clothes and from my own clothes I had on when I rolled up 
the window shade. So, as quick as I could, I took out dry 
clothes, and taking off the wet ones put on the dry. Then I 
went through my usual morning work and performance, not 
feeling in the least anything unusual in myself, except, prob 
ably, it seemed to me that I felt somewhat easier than usual, 
which I attributed that time to the exceptionally sound sleep 
and nightly rest. So, performing my morning prayers as usu 
al, and having taken my luxurious breakfast of bread and wa 
ter, after which I felt much stronger and refreshed, I dressed 
myself up and went out for a walk as usual. But as soon as I 
came out the front door on the street, I felt consciously and 
visibly a radical and complete change in my mental condition, 
and it was so great and strange that I was involuntarily com 
pelled to remain for some time standing motionless at the 
door, looking around the street in all directions. 


Now, I had lived in this house nearly two years at that 
time, and had passed along the street several times every day, 
so that every house, tree, fence, and all other objects were to 
me as familiar as even the objects in my own room. But now, 
looking across the street, along the street to the right and to 
the left, every object which fell under my sight looked entire 
ly and positively different from its appearance to my eyes be 
fore. I was astounded to such a degree that I remained in 
one place for several minutes, looking around the street and at 
my own self, wondering what was the matter with the street, 
my eyes, or my senses. As was stated previously, I lived at 
that time at 313 Taylor street, between O'Farrell and Ellis 
streets, and my usual custom was to go along Ellis street at 
least to Van Ness avenue, if not further, as at that time, above 
Van Ness avenue, Ellis street was in a rough condition, and 
had but few decent houses. So, on that morning, after the 
first impression of wonder had somewhat subsided, I started 
towards the corner of Ellis street, and then, turning to the 
right, proceeded along that street towards Van Ness. As I 
looked on both sides of that street going along, I saw clearly 
that Ellis street was in the same bad fix as Taylor street; ev 
erything on that street was just as much different as every ob 
ject on Taylor street. But this was not all. Very soon I be 
gan to be aware that my physical condition underwent some 
kind of change also. The first thing I noticed was that I be 
gan to feel tired passing just a few blocks only, when before 
that morning I could walk four times as far without feeling 
fatigued so much as I did on that morning. And it was so 
far that, just passing Van Ness avenue, and coming to large 
vacant lots on both sides of Ellis street, I went into the vacant 
field, and seeing a large stone or rock I sat down to take a rest. 
Then I was as tired as if I had walked several hours already, 
although I was not more than half an hour on the street. 

Now, as was stated previously, I had carried in my pock- 


et every day a small pocket New Testament in the German 
language for reading; so, on this morning, I had that little 
Book of books with me also. And, having sat down on that 
rock, I took out my little Testament and opened it for reading ; 
but, to my greater surprise, I could not read either. That is, 
I could read, but for my life I could not collect my senses so 
far as to be able to understand what I read. I tried to read 
in several different places, opening the Testament at random, 
but to no change whatever. I could not understand what I 
read, hence it was^utterly useless to read. Then, resting my 
self for awhile, I started again to walk further, but, in a short 
time began to feel fatigued again; and, at the same time, I be 
gan more and more to be aware that I was very unsteady upon 
my legs. I walked nearly as unsteady as a child that has 
shortly begun to walk alone; and, as at least it appeared to me 
afterwards, I was looking at everything with such innocent 
wonder and curiosity as does a little child that comes out on 
the street in the morning. So I walked all day, having to 
rest myself far oftener than usual, and feeling constantly far 
more tired than any day before; and, although, trying to read 
the Testament several times, I could not succeed in under 
standing what I read. In the afternoon I came home, and, as 
I found my room in nearly the same condition and aspect as I 
found everything outdoors that is, everything looked in some 
way different, as it did not look before I began to fear that my 
senses were giving way from their normal condition ; so I be 
gan to pray, but could not perform that in a proper way eith 
er. At my walk in the evening I could not perceive so much 
difference in the appearance of the objects I saw, but I became 
tired and worn out far sooner than on any evening previous, 
though the weather was calm and lovely. So I returned home 
earlier than usual, and went to bed right after performing my 
evening prayers, which were, to myself, unsatisfactory also. 

The next morning I felt a little more strong, but coming 
out on the street I beheld the same chaos and confusion which 


presented itself to my sight the previous morning. But at 
this time it was somewhat less surprising, and I did not stop 
long to scrutinize things I looked at, but went my way to 
walk around, just keeping a sharp notice how steady or un 
steady I was in my walking; and pretty soon I became aware 
that my unsteadiness of yesterday did continue to-day. And 
at the first opportunity to sit down to take some rest I tried 
to read my little Testament, but with just the same effect as 
on the previous day; and I began to be discouraged more and 
more, not knowing the cause of such a phenomenal change in 
my condition. Coming home that afternoon still more alarm 
ed about losing my senses, I concluded to make a trial by 
writing a half sheet of free and random composition, intend 
ing to read it the next day; and I put that paper into the bu 
reau drawer. But, instead of reading it the next day, I forgot 
all about it, and found that paper only some two weeks after 
wards; and I forgot it so completely that when I found it I 
wondered what it contained, but reading it I gradually recol 
lected that I had written it myself, and on the second after 
noon of my troubled condition. The evening passed about 
the same as the previous one, only I could walk around still 
less than the former evening. 

The third morning did not bring any change for the bet 
ter; but it seemed to me that I gradually grew still weaker 
and more unsteady in walking. That afternoon, going still 
around, I began to notice some change in my mental condition. 
The objects under my eyes began to shape themselves into a 
more normal aspect ; and I began to be more conscious about 
where 1 was and what I saw. So passed that afternoon and 
evening. The next (fourth} morning, coming out on the street, 
I right away vividly noticed a great change for the better. The 
whole street looked nearly as usual, and I experienced a great 
deal of comfort. But, going around, I soon became aware that 
the mental improvement seemed at the expense of the physical, 


as I felt even more weak than on the previous three days, and 
I became tired still sooner. Sitting down to rest, I took out 
my pocket Testament; and, to try my ability to read, I opened 
the cover and began to read the title page. But it did not go 
satisfactorily, as I could not yet collect my senses suffi 
ciently to understand what I read. The next (fifth) morning 
I felt better yet mentally, but not physically, as I was even 
more weak on my legs, and shaky, than the other day, and 
could walk around but very little. And, oh, how I was thank 
ful to my Saviour that on these days the weather was moder 
ate and calm, without any heavy winds or gales, as they are 
almost constantly blowing in San Francisco ! I was pretty sure 
that I could not keep upon my feet in any considerable strong 
wind, and it seemed to me that any boy could cause me to 
tumble down by giving me a hard push. On the sixth day I 
found a radical change in me; the streets and all other objects 
looked as normal and usual as they appeared to me before this 
trouble, and I felt a good deal stronger and steadier in walk 
ing. In the afternoon of that day I met on Mason street my 
friend, the teacher of music, Mr. Lust, with whom I came to 
California. After having conversed awhile I told him that I 
felt a strange weakness in my legs, so much so that, walking 
around, sometimes I felt so unsteady as if I was intoxicated, 
at which he laughed, but did not say anything; and it appear 
ed to me as if he had in mind that it was the result of liquor, 
after all. But I must affirm here positively that at that time 
of my life I did not drink one single drop of intoxicants for 
several months before and after. But, as he did not say any 
thing about that, so I did not feel any necessity to speak any 
more about it, and soon we parted. That was but one single 
occasion, in which I mentioned so much about my condition 
at that time; and so passed still three days more, till I became 
fully strong and normal mentally and physically. But on 
these three days I could not read the Testament yet, although 
I tried to read every day, but always without any success. 


Now, on the ninth day, coming out on the street, I felt 
myself almost as a new man, or a man who had become fully 
recovered from a serious sickness. As, since my troubles be 
gan, for nine consecutive days I was utterly unable to go so 
far as the cemeteries; so that morning, feeling myself strong 
and normal, I concluded to go to the Laurel Hill Cemetery, as 
I had done so often before. Coming there, and to my custom" 
ary place of rest, I sat down, and took out my German pocket 
New Testament. As I said before, my custom was to read 
the Testament at random; that is, opening it, to begin to read 
just there where the eyes fell upon, and then proceed further. 
So, without any preconceived idea whatever, opening the Tes 
tament, my eyes fell upon John v: iii "Jesus answered, Verily, 
verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of 
the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." As I 
read these words, my mind was struck in some strange man 
ner, although I had read these words many times before, and 
they were not new to me; yet this time they seemed to con tain 
in themselves something unusual, and I felt some kind of alarm 
or uneasiness. Then I continued to read further: "That which 
is born of the flesh is flesh ; and that which is born of the Spirit 
is spirit,'' and "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be 
born again." Now, as I read these lines through, I became so 
strangely disturbed and agitated that I could not read any 
further. Hence, I began to think and meditate about these 
words of our Saviour. Then all at once it burst upon my 
mind the whole event of my experiences and condition of the 
last nine days the vision in the evening; the overpowering 
heat, and through that heat the unnatural perspiration, which 
caused me to become wet all over, as if I emerged out of the 
jvater; and also caused me? on awakening the next morning, 
to find myself in bed as having been exposed all night under 
rain or heavy fog, all bed-clothes, and those I had on, being 
wet and damp as having been in water ; then the strange men- 


tal and physical condition during the several days after that 
night, when many a time it seemed to me that I was mentally 
and physically in an utterly childish condition. All these cir 
cumstances and events passing quickly through my mind 
somewhat bewildered me. But, then, right away I remem 
bered the words of John the Baptist: "I, indeed, baptize you 
with water unto repentance; but he that cometh after me is 
mightier than I he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost 
and with fire' 7 (Matt, iii: 11; Luke iii: 10; Mark i: 8). And 
thinking about these words of John, in connection with my 
last vision and experiences, it became to my mind even more 
clear and comprehensible than it would be if it was ex 
plained to me by any human words and comparisons that all 
my experiences of these last days was nothing less than the 
realization of these words of our Saviour and of John the 
Baptist. And afterwards, reading the New Testament, in many 
other passages I was confirmed in this conclusion so far that I 
became fully convinced of it. 

Now, after this I began to read the New Testament, and 
especially the Four Gospels of our Saviour's teachings, with 
still closer attention; and the more attentively I read the own 
words of instruction of our Saviour, the more I got the desire 
to observe his teachings, and obey his commandments in all 
my doings and conduct of every-day life. And the more I 
observed and carried out his teachings and commandments in 
my every-day life, the more I advanced and progressed in com 
prehending the teachings of the Scriptures by heart; and this 
in addition to my previous understanding of them by my 
head alone. This was the whole secret which puzzled some. of 
the teachers of the Christian religion (as was stated above), how 
and whereabout I acquired my knowledge of the Scriptural 
teachings. So, the more I advanced in comprehending the 
Scriptures, the more I became able to see and perceive the sub 
lime truth contained in the words recorded as the own words 


of God, the Saviour, Jesus Christ. It gradually dawned upon 
my mind, and became clear and comprehensible, in what way 
the words of our Saviour viz.: "If any man will do his 
(Father's) will, he shall know of the doctrine" this teachings), 
etc. (St. John vii: 17.) And, as it was made clear to me also 
that the will of his and our Heavenly Father was expressed 
tm the Mount of Transfiguration from out the clouds viz., 
"Hear ye him," his "beloved Son," Jesus Christ (Matt, xyii: 
5; Mark ix: 7; Luke ix: 35) so it is undeniable to any and 
every believer in him that all a Christian, as a follower of 
Christ, has to do is to know Christ's teachings and command 
ments ; and, having acquired that knowledge, to observe and 
obey his teachings and commandments. Doing that, the 
Saviour himself, by means of his Holy Spirit (the "Com 
forter," the "Spirit of Truth"), will be the Instructor and 
Leader of such a believer in him. 

And here is where the " f aith" which is "saving faith" 
comes in. He who observes all his teachings, and obeys his 
commandments, proves by his deeds and actions that he be 
lieves in Christ and has full faith in him; then no man will 
conscientiously observe Christ's teachings and obey all his com. 
mandments who does not believe in him. On the other hand, 
he who professes ever so much his belief in Christ and his 
faith in Christ, but violates Christ's teachings and command 
ments, voluntarily and wantonly proves by his own deeds and 
actions that he does not have any faith in Christ at all; or he 
is falsely instructed by his religious teacher (as so many 
churches teach indeed) that all man needs is to have faith in 
Christ and he will be saved. This is positively and utterly 
contrary to all the teachings of Christ himself, and of all 
his apostles also. And, indeed, such teaching does not consti 
tute religious teaching at all, as religion is solely for the pur 
pose to change the life and actions of man from living and 
acting by his own sweet will and desire to living and acting in 


conformity with the will and law of his Creator and Saviour. 
But who will change his life and actions if he has been assured 
that he will inherit eternal life and happiness by only pro 
fessing his belief and faith in Christ with words, without 
proving his faith by obedient observance of Christ's teachings 
and commandments ? Such a thing is nothing more than 
childish expectation. And that is the sole cause that there is 
no visible difference between a Christian church member and 
a Hebrew. And many of the last are even far better members 
of society than very many of the first. 

So I continued to walk around for improving my health 
every day; and at each resting-place continued to read my 
little New Testament, with the principal aim to learn more of 
that which he commands us to do and observe, and of that which 
he forbids us to commit. And the consequence of this was 
that the more I learned of his will and law, the more I became 
desirous to obey and observe his teachings; and the more I 
compelled myself to obey his teachings and commandments, 
the easier and lighter the observance of them became for me. 
Thus, advancing and progressing gradually, I soon became 
aware that my inner disposition, desires, inclinations, and my 
character in general, underwent a radical change, and a change 
decidedly for the better ; and so much it went so that it became 
a positive pleasure for me to do as much as I possibly could 
of deeds in conformity with the gospel teachings, and abstain 
from all that the Gospels forbid. And so I went along without 
any remarkable event till 1879. 


In August, or September, of 1879, I chanced to read in 
the paper, Evening Post, a long article, in which was described 
the services in the Greek-Russian church in San Francisco, lo 
cated on Greenwich street, between Stockton and Dupont. 
Never having had any opportunity to meet a Russian in San 
Francisco, I was somewhat surprised to learn that here was a 
Russian church. So, taking careful note about the place, I 
concluded the very next Lord's Day to go there to find that 
church, and see for myself how much of a Russian church it 
was. Accordingly, on the next Sunday morning I went out 
there, found the church, and attended the services (mass), and 
to say, by the way, the first time after nearly twenty years 
since I left Russia. In the same article of the Evening Pout it 
was said that a new bishop was coming from Russia for this 
diocese; so, after the mass was over, going out, I inquired of 
the sexton if the bishop has come, and received the answer 
that he has arrived in New York, but how soon he will be here 
nobody knew for certain. So, leaving the church, I resolved 
to visit it every Sunday as far as it will be possible for me, and 
at any opportunity to become acquainted with the priests, as 
I was acquainted with many in Russia. 

Thus I began to visit a place of worship again after some 
twenty years of interval; and every Lord's Day I was in the 
church I inquired about the expected arrival of the newly- 
appointed Bishop, as I felt but too deep longings to find a man 
with sufficiently acute belief and faith in our Saviour, Jesus 
Christ, and in the Scriptural teachings, to warrant a confidence 
and surety not to use it injuriously to the cause of the Re- 


deemer, if I confided or imparted to him the visions which I 
had seen, the words I had heard not from human mouth, and 
the experiences I had lived and received during the last years 
since 1876. Then, I must add here, ever since the time of my 
first vision in the hospital in 1864, very often I felt but too 
strong a desire and deep longing to communicate it to some 
one else. And only the fear of God as to my revealing this 
secret very easily, that it might be taken in a perverted sense, 
and used for injury to the religion of Christ and his work of 
redemption, constrained me to hold the secret concealed; and 
not infrequently I had to brace up all my moral and mental 
strength not to betray the secret even unintentionally. And 
for that purpose I was so impatient about the arrival of the 
Bishop, naturally expecting to find in him such a person as I 
was desirous to find for my purpose more likely in him than 
in any other ecclesiast here in America. 

A few weeks after my beginning to visit the church, one 
Sunday morning, coming to hear the mass, I was informed by 
the sexton, Rasloff, that the Bishop has arrived, and is in the 
altar, behind the screens ; and if I wish to become acquainted 
with him, I may do so after the services are over. So, after 
the mass, I remained in the church, waiting for his coming 
out. After giving him time to exchange words with some 
others, who remained, like me, to see him, I, in my turn, ap 
proached him and introduced myself to him. Seeing that I 
had but one arm, he asked me how I lost the other; and as I 
told him that I had lost it in the war for the Union of States 
in 1864, he said that he was in 1863 in New York harbor with 
the Russian Esquadre, under the command of Admiral Lyszow- 
sky, was acquainted with very many Americans, and saw sev 
eral of them this time in New York. He conversed with me 
until he got tired standing in one place, and excused himself 
on that acount ; he asked my promise to come to see him as 
soon as he had moved from the hotel, where he was staying 


temporarily, into a permanent residence. And on the next 
Sunday he handed to me his address card, telling me that he 
needed to speak more to me, and wished to see me in his resi 
dence as soon as it is possible for me. So in the same week I 
visited him in his house at 1311 Taylor street, and became not 
only acquainted, but, as far as it is possible in such different 
positions of life, became closely befriended. I found out that 
he was born and educated in St. Petersburg, too; and I was 
acquainted and in friendly relations with two of his cousins, 
and knew his uncle, General Baron Zass. He told me, also, 
that he served his monastic apprenticeship in a branch monas 
tery, only three miles outside of St. Petersburg, under the 
guidance and instruction of a venerable friar monk, Father 
Paisey, whom I knew also, as I very often was in that monas 
tery for attending a liturgy, and was also acquainted with some 
monks. Then he told me that he intended to translate from 
a book in the Russian language into English, sermons of the 
most eminent Russian divines, to deliver them in the church 
in the English language, as very many Greeks and Slavonians 
did not understand Russian; but all, more or less, understood 
English. "But this work," he said, "he was unable to do 
alone, as he knew but very little of the English language." 
He knew, besides Russian, perfectly well French, some Ger 
man, Slavonian, Greek and Latin, but very little of the Eng 
lish ; so he desired to know if I could help him out in this dif 
ficulty. Having explained to him my condition of health, or 
rather sickness, I told him that if the work would not neces 
sitate me to sit very long at a time, and if my inadequate 
knowledge of English would be of any help to him, I would 
cheerfully lend my feeble help in this dilemma. Then he said 
to me that he wished to engage me as his private secretary, as 
he was receiving many letters from Protestant clergymen, and 
other persons, in the English language, all of which he was 
unable to answer, and he would like to have me to answer 


them. Besides that, he had in his house a few sons of priests 
from Alaska, whom he placed in the public school for educa 
tion, and which boys could not understand a word of English; 
eo he wished me to give them lessons in English, as far as I 
could, to enable them so much sooner to understand their 
teachers in the school. All this I accepted to fulfill as far as 
my constitution would permit, and my own poor knowledge 
of English would enable me. Then he asked me how much I 
would wish to receive as remuneration for my work and trouble, 
to which I answered that I was perfectly willing and ready to 
do all that without any pecuniary recompense whatever. To 
this he replied that he in nowise can accept so much work 
without paying for it, as his means are incomparably larger 
than my means. I had confessed to him already that I was 
compelled, in consequence of my sickness, to live on my pen 
sion of $24 a month alone. So he said if I would feel satis 
fied, he would gladly pay me $25 a month for my work for 
him. This I certainly accepted with thanks; and, having 
settled all other details, as, at what time and in what days of 
the week to come to him, I left him, and after a few days be 
gan my work in his house, and continued this duty for nearly 
ten months, coming to him three, four and sometimes five times 
in a week, which was for me very often not an easy thing to 
perform, as I was unable to sit so long without exercise in the 
fresh air. 

Now, coming to him so often, and in the capacity of a 
private secretary, I had the best opportunity to see and judge 
for myself about the degree of his knowledge, belief and faith 
in the Scriptures and the teachings of our Saviour. Translat 
ing the sermons from a large book in the Russian language, 
delivered at different times by the greatest teachers of the 
Greek-Russian church, I often came across some teachings that 
were grossly in disharmony, and not infrequently in positive 
contradiction, to the teachings of our Saviour, as these teach- 


ings and commandments of him are handed to the world by 
the apostles. And so I began to call his attention to these dis 
cordant teachings. And, as he always could not see any un 
truth in them, I had to quote to him the very words of our 
Saviour from the Gospels, and explain to him the proper appli 
cation of these words of Christ to man's every-day life. Then, 
seeing. that I was right, judging by the words of the Gospels, 
he always consented that the teachings in the sermon were 
erroneous, but said that he wished to translate and deliver the 
sermons just as they are in the original; and so it was done 
and left without any correction. Now this state of things hap 
pened with every sermon that we translated, and in many ser 
mons the errors were but too frequent and gross. I could give 
many instances of such discussions and explanations, but it 
will take too much time and space to describe them. But, for 
the benefit of my fellow-men that seek for more truth and 
light, I will describe here one notable conversation, which is 
more instructive than others. 

One morning, being occupied with translating a sermon, I 
asked him: "Your eminence, I wish to ask you about some 
thing in order to know if I am correct or not." "What is it ? " 
said he. To which I answered: "I have asserted always that 
every word of teaching and commandment that the Saviour 
spoke to his disciples, the apostles, he, in the very same man 
ner, speaks to every individual of the whole human race; 
whoever will have the opportunity to read them from the Tes 
tament, or hear them spoken by another man. Is it correct 
or erroneous ? " I asked. "It is perfectly correct; if we read 
his words in the Gospels or in the Acts of the Apostles, we 
must consider them as being spoken to ourselves," he answered- 
Then I asked him; "Is it, therefore, unquestionable that we 
are bound to obey and observe everything which he admon 
ishes, demands and commands us to obey and observe ? " To 
this he answered, "This is perfectly correct, too." After this 


I opened the New Testament, and read to him the following: 
' 'And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is 
given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and 
teach all nations," etc. "Teaching them to observe all things 
whatsoever I have commanded you," etc. Having read this 
last command of our Saviour (Matt, xxviii: 18, 19, 20), I told 
him: "Now, your eminence, I desire to ask you is there any de 
nomination of the Christian religion in the world that obeys this 
command of our Saviour the greatest of all commands in the 
Bible,because it covers all his Messianic work on ear th by teach 
ing 'all things whatsoever' he has taught and commanded ?" To 
this question there came no reply; but, with a sigh, he fell into 
meditation. Seeing his perplexity. I told him: "Your emi 
nence, I do not need an answer to this question; I know that 
there are none, and know, too, that, as there is no church that 
teaches all that Christ commanded to teach, there is no nation, 
neither any community, in the world that conducts its affairs 
in conformity with the teachings and commandments of our 
Saviour. Hence, there is no true Christianity in the world; 
only here and there some isolated individuals that strive to 
conduct their lives and actions, as much as it is possible for 
them, in accordance with the gospel teachings and command 
ments of Christ; and this not in consequence of the teachings 
of the church to which they belong, because the church does 
not teach that at all, but solely by and through the awaken 
ing of their individual conscience by close reading of the gos 
pel teachings of Christ. I know it perfectly well that no bishop 
or priest, either in the Greek Catholic or in the Roman Catholic 
church, dare to obey this command of Christ; as the former 
has in the person of the Czar of Russia, and the latter in the 
person of the Pope of Rome, a far greater and severer master 
than Jesus of Nazareth; and the Protestant ministers of the 
gospel (?) in the monarchical countries to a great extent cannot 
obey this command of our Saviour either, as the monarchical 


system of civil government is positively an ti- Christian, the 
teachings of Christ being pure heavenly democracy. But how 
is it in this country of universal freedom, where the civil gov 
ernment is established in conformity with the gospel teachings 
of Christ himself ? I do not say this for the accusation of any 
one, but solely for the benefit of those concerned. As the evan 
gelists' record in the Gospels, the own words of our Saviour 
are fearfully close of application in regard to this matter." 
To all this the Bishop gave no answer; neither expressed any 
opinion of his own. Discussions and conversations of such a 
character we had nearly every time when occupied with the 
translation of the sermons. And, undoubtedly, these conver 
sations and explanations of the gospel teachings and command 
ments of Christ brought out from his bosom the exclamation 
of wonder described in some place previously that I under 
stood so remarkably well the Scriptures. It is of little use to 
mention here any more of our conversations about the Bible 
teachings. I will state here only that the more I became ac 
quainted with him, the more I saw his deep belief in the 
Scriptures, but only such a belief and faith as, in some de 
gree. I had possessed before my above-described regeneration- 
But, nevertheless, his belief and faith in the Saviour of the 
world was far greater and profounder than I ever had discerned 
in any other ecclesiast, whether in Catholic or Protestant de 

Now, I am obliged to deviate some from my proper course 
of deposition. Ever since I recovered from my sickness and 
came out from the hospital in 1864, always when I meditated 
about the sublime vision of "God-Father and God-son," I felt 
a profoundly deep and strong desire to reveal it to somebody 
else. But, each time feeling that desire, I felt at the same 
time some kind of fear and shudder, lest the revealing of my 
vision will be taken and explained in such a way as to pro 
duce far more harm than good for the religion of Christ and 


the cause of the world's Redeemer. Hence, every time I sup 
pressed my desire in the hope to meet, some time in the fu 
ture, a person with sufficiently deep belief in the Scriptures 
and profound faith in the Saviour as to warrant the confidence 
of receiving this secret, and this is the answer and explana 
tion of that question, propounded in the "Introduction" to 
these Depositions, viz.: Why these "Visions" were not given 
to the world by the writer of this during his life on earth, but 
only after he has passed away from here ? Now, if the desire 
was but too great before, it became incomparably greater and 
stronger after my experienced regeneration my baptism by 
the Holy Spirit and new birth which came to pass in 1876, 
and was fully described above. And it demanded from me al 
most superhuman force and power of will not to betray any 
thing of these secrets during my discussions and conversa 
tions with the Bishop about the Scriptures and the work of 
our Saviour. So the more closely I became acquainted with 
Bishop Nestor (his name), and the more I discerned his con 
scientious belief in the Scriptures and faith in our Saviour, 
the more I began to think that he was the proper person to 
whom I could reveal and confide my "Visions" and experi 
ence of regeneration, which events, in the natural way and 
order, reveal and prove the sublime truth of the words of our 
Saviour recorded in the Gospels. And, therefore, I began seri 
ously to think about how and at what time would be the 
most proper and expedient occasion to reveal all to him. Con 
stantly contemplating about that, I came to the conclusion 
that the proper time for it would be at a regular confession, as 
the Greek-Russian Catholic Church has ear-confession just as 
the Roman Catholic Church has; and, according to the church 
laws and ordinances, every member of the church has to con 
fess his sins and receive the Holy Sacrament of Eucharisty at 
least once in a year, if not oftener. And I resolved to ask 
Bishop Nestor to be my confessor, saying to him in advance 


that I have to reveal some events which, in no ways, can I 
confide to any other clergyman, and that is the cause and rea 
son that I take the liberty to ask him to be my confessor; 
thinking that the revealing of the above described events at 
such a solemn time, so to say, before the face of the Creator 
and Saviour himself, would be the least likely to be taken as 
a fiction, or even a cunning device to promote one's own per 
sonal aims and ends. And at the same time I could ask from 
him a more solemn and honest promise not to reveal it to any 
body else, except for the benefit and furtherance of the relig 
ion of Christ and his teachings; and even then, without men 
tioning my name in connection with it. Now, I must confess 
here, also, that I had not been to confession for nearly forty 
years, as I did not, and do not now, believe that a priest has 
the power to forgive sins. This power belongs only to the Su 
preme Power or Deity, and can be specially communicated to 
any mortal who will prove himself worthy of possessing such 
power; but not every one who has graduated from any human 
institution and become capable to be a religious teacher to oth 
ers can be a recipient of such power, conferred upon him by 
other mortals like himself. This is too much for me. And 
this circumstance I intended to use, also, as a reason for troub 
ling him to be my confessor. 

So passed the time in our work and conversation and dis 
cussion till the Lenten fast came in the year 1880, at which 
time, at least once in a year, every one has to perform the work 
of repentance by attending the church services twice in a day 
for a whole week; or, at least for three days. Then to go to 
confession, and the next morning to partake the sacrament of 
the Holy Supper. This obligation Bishop Nestor always per 
formed with great solemnity and on the first week of the Lent- 
And this he performed in the first lenten week in 1880 as usu 
al. That Lord's day, after the mass, as usual coming forth to 
meet and converse with him, I congratulated him with the 


partaking of the Holy Sacrament, and after a few words he in 
vited me to come with him to his house for dinner; and if 
there was nothing to prevent me he would be pleased to have 
me go with him in his carriage. Accepting his invitation, I 
went with him to his house on Taylor street. During the din 
ner he informed me that he intended soon to go to Alaska and 
the Aleutian Islands for the inspection of the churches there, 
and would be absent for two or probably for three months. On 
my inquiry how soon he will go, he said that he is not sure 
yet, but probably the next week or the week after the next. 
This communication affected me very much, as it crossed my 
intention of revealing my secrets described above; inasmuch 
as in the course of the several months of his absence anything 
can happen with me or even with him; and even so far that 
he will not return at all. So I said to myself, if anything has 
to be done it must be done speedily. 

This happened on the Lord's day (Sunday), and on the 
next Tuesday morning, coming to him for work as usual, dur 
ing our work I asked him if he had fixed for sure the time of 
his departure for Alaska, to which he replied that he had 
made all necessary arrangements for going the next week, as 
the steamer leases for Alaska on that week. This was a still 
greater blow for me; and I suppose it was betrayed by my 
face, as he several times looked into my face with some sym 
pathetic wonder, but did not ask the reason of it. Probably 
he ascribed the depressed expression of my face to the loss of 
the money which would come from his absence money which 
I received from him for my work for him; but the real cause 
was very different. Having finished our work for that day, I 
went around for exercise as usual, at the same time contem 
plating seriously and deeply- how to arrange it better for him 
and for me. Doing so, I arrived at the positive conclusion 
that it would be the best thing to tell him my intention of ask 
ing him to be my confessor before his going away, at my first 


or next visit to his house, which would have to come on the 
next Thursday. And, for that purpose, I had to call to mem 
ory all the circumstances of the respective events more cor 
rectly and definitely, in order not to admit any doubt or sus 
picion of my revelations as being fictitious, or as being put up 
and invented for some personal aims and ends. 

So that very evening, coming home after my usual even 
ing's walk, I performed my evening prayers as usual, and went 
to bed about 10 o'clock. I lived to that time at 210 O'Farrell 
street, renting a small furnished room on the first floor, and 
with but one window, from Mrs. Graham. It was a front room, 
and the window looked upon Farrell street, and beneath the 
room was a low cellar, where they kept some wood for the 
kitchen stove. Behind, or in the rear of my room, was the 
sleeping-chamber of Mr. and Mrs. Graham, divided from my 
room by a thin partition, and the partition so light that when 
they were talking in that room in a usual way it could be dis 
tinctly heard in my room. My bed was standing with the 
head-board against that partition, and with the side on the out 
side wall. In that corner, and just above the bed's head-board, 
were hanging several likenesses of the Saviour and the Virgin ^ 
and also a crucifix, some of them on the partition and the 
others on the outside wall, the same which I have till the pres 
ent day. Now, when I went to bed, lying upon my back, I be 
gan to think, and made some strenuous exertions to recall to 
my memory more connected circumstances which happened in 
connection with the visions, in order to explain and describe 
them more clearly at confession, resolving to speak about my 
desire to have him to be my confessor at the next time I will 
be in the house of Bishop Nestor, and, at the same time, pray 
ing mentally for more light and guidance from above how to 
arrange the whole affair better and smoother. Then I heard 
Mr. and Mrs. Graham coming into their sleeping-room, and 
heard them conversing for awhile; then they ceased to talk 


and all became still and quiet. So, continuing to think and 
recall to my memory all the particulars of the previously de 
scribed visions and experiences, I gradually began to formu 
late in my mind how to describe them more, and better con 
nected, to the Bishop at the confession. Then, all at once, I 
heard a pretty sharp and heavy knock from beneath, as if it 
were an earthquake shock, and so strong and heavy that the 
partition behind the bed's head-board and the outside wall on 
my left side were distinctly trembling, causing the pictures 
and the crucifix, hanging in the corner above my head, to rat 
tle, all of which I heard distinctly. And more than that; in 
the very moment when I heard the shock from beneath, I felt 
distinctly also that my mattress was a little lifted up under 
me as if by a sudden and a very powerful pressure of air from 
beneath, causing the mattress suddenly to be a little 
lifted up and make a distinct pressure upon my 
back, as I was lying flat on my back, with the face towards 
the window. Waiting a few seconds for a possible repetition 
of the same, or any sound or noise from outside, and, not hear 
ing anything, I got up from my bed and went to the window; 
and, drawing the window-shade aside, I looked on the street 
in every direction as far as I could, but no living being was to 
be seen on the street, and no commotion or disturbance what 
ever. Remaining for a few seconds sitting at the window, and 
not perceiving any life or motion on the street, I returned to my 
bed; and a few minutes after this I heard again Mr. and Mrs. 
Graham talking one to another, which gave me the proof that 
they were not asleep when I heard the shock; so I decided to 
ask them the next day if they heard that shock, and what they 
could make out of it. 

This event scattered my thought so completely that after 
it I could not collect my mind upon the subject I was think 
ing about before it ; so, soon after that, I fell asleep, and did 
not hear anything more. On the next morning, meeting Mrs. 


Graham in the hall, I asked her if they had heard the earth 
quake shock after they were in their sleeping-room, as I knew 
they were not asleep at that time, hecause I heard them con 
versing before and after the shock. She answered that they 
did not hear any disturbance at all, and that, probably, I was 
asleep and dreamed it. But, being perfectly sure that I was 
fully awake and in full consciousness, and was thinking and 
arranging in my mind how better to reveal my visions and ex 
periences at confession, it was to me but too strange and in 
comprehensible how it possibly could be. and what it meant, 
and how to understand this event. So, going out that morn 
ing as usual for my daily exercise, I began seriously to think 
and contemplate about the affair; and the more I contem 
plated about it, the more I could see that it was no ordinary 
earthquake shock, as such a shock could not produce a pressure 
of air from beneath through the floor; and such a pressure I 
felt distinctly upon by body, as if the mattress under me was 
somewhat lifted up by a powerful air action from beneath* 
Turning all this over and over in my mind, I came to the 
conclusion that it must contain some special sign for me, as 
two persons in such close proximity to me did not hear any 
thing of it, although the knock was so powerful that the out 
side wall and the inside partition were shaken by that knock 
to such a degree that the pictures which were hanging above 
my head had rattled. All this I heard distinctly. Now, as at 
that time, I was contemplating about the confession, and ex 
erted myself to some degree to remember more clearly all the 
circumstances pertaining and connected with the ''visions" I 
have had, and this for the purpose of revealing them to Bish 
op Nestor, when that shock startled me and scattered all my 
thoughts so far that I was utterly unable to collect them again 
for further meditation, it appeared to me that this shock was 
nothing less than a warning for me not to reveal my secrets, 
as possibly it may prove in the further, injury to the "religion 


of Christ" and the belief and faith in him. In this idea I was 
soon fully convinced, and so far as to be nearly sure that it 
was so. Hence, I sternly resolved not to reveal my secrets 
and not to go to confession. And so, the next time coming to 
Bishop Nestor, I did not let anything out about my intention ; 
neither said to him or to anybody else anything about these 

So Bishop Nestor went to Alaska, and I had again the 
whole time for my reading the Bible and meditation about 
the gospel teachings of our Saviour; as also for meditation 
about my "Visions'' and "experiences." But my conscience 
was, very often, somewhat disturbed by the thought that, as I 
resolved positively and finally not to reveal the " Visions" and 
my "experiences" to anybody, and, therefore, dropped th e 
wish to find a mortal to whom I could safely confide them, it 
seemed to me wrong to carry these "secrets" with me, and 
bury them in the earth with my body without giving them to 
the world, so that no one of my fellow-beings might be benefit 
ed by them, and strengthened more in the belief in the Script 
ures and in the teachings and faith of our Saviour. 

Thinking often about all these, I at last resolved to write 
them down on paper in the Russian language; and having se 
curely sealed it up in an envelope, to give the package for safe 
keeping to Bishop Nestor, asking him for the favor to pre 
serve it without opening till my death. And after my death ? 
also without opening it himself, to forward it to the Holy Syn 
od of St. Petersburg, Russia, accompanied by a writing from 
himself with the explanation from whom it is and what it 
contains; being in hope that Bishop Nestor will do all this 
as I desire, if I will entrust it to him as my last wish and 
testament. So, fixing this idea in my mind, I began to write 
down everything I saw, heard, experienced, etc., and after 
wards arranged it properly, writing it over as well as I could; 
and that in the Russian language, and kept it securely till 
the return of Bishop Nestor from Alaska. 


This, then, was the principal cause why this was not re 
vealed by the writer during his life on earth, and which was 
but for the strengthening of the opinion entertained by him 

After a few months' absence Bishop Nestor returned to 
San Francisco, and I resumed my work with him again, but 
did not tell him anything about my writings, waiting for 
some more developments that would give me more assurance 
and security for intrusting to his care and safe-keeping my 
written "ante-mortem confession," as I named those writings 
in Russian. But in a short time after the Bishop's return, 
there came grave quarrels and altercations among the clergy 
of the church in San Francisco who were under his immedi 
ate control and supervision, with very grave charges and ac 
cusations against some of them. This, Bishop Nestor, as the 
superior authority over the church personally, had to decide, 
and adjust everything in conformity with the laws and impar 
tial justice. But he proved himself to be inadequate for the 
occasion, as his extreme goodness and love of peace and friendly 
relations towards every one and all made him almost childish 
weak ; so much it was so that he was utterly unable to reproach 
or reprimand even the deacon, far less a priest, for any unbe 
coming action or words. And this weakness of the Bishop 
served but as an encouragement to the refractory clericals to 
do more mischief. Seeing all that, and often giving him ad 
vice how to settle the difficulty so as to be neither against the 
laws of man nor derogatory to justice and the laws of God, I 
always received the reply that he "cannot do that" ; lie is "un 
able to tell any man to the face that his actions are wrong." 
Now, seeing in Bishop Nestor such weakness of character and 
inability to act in conformity with his rank, and title, and 
position of authority, etc., I began to perceive that he was not a 
proper person to whom I could intrust my "Depositions." 
Moreover, as many a time I had the papers in my pocket, be- 


ing in his house, and only waited for a good chance to speak 
and deliver them to him, but every time there came some 
thing or other that diverted my intention from doing so, I 
concluded that it is against the will of my Saviour to leave 
the "Depositions" in the hands of Bishop Nestor; and it sub 
sequently proved to be so. Two years after that time he went 
to Alaska and the Aleutian Islands for the inspection of the 
churches, as usual, but never came back to San Francisco, as 
he drowned himself ten miles off the island of St. Paul, in the 
Aleutian Archipelago, during his return voyage. And as all 
his effects and books were subsequently sold at auction, there 
is no telling what would have become of my writings, if they 
had been intrusted to him. A few months afterwards, becom 
ing worse in my health again, and having to witness much 
quarreling and animosity between the clergy and others, I 
gave up my work as his helper, and he ceased to deliver ser 
mons in English, but requested the priests to deliver sermons 
in Russian. So the "ante-mortem confession, ".written in the 
Russian language, remained with me ; but as they were written 
very short, only the principal events and circumstances con 
nected with the "Visions," as also the "Visions" themselves, 
having now written the present "Depositions" in English, and 
as complete as I could, the writing in the Russian becomes 
nearly useless ; nevertheless I will preserve it for any emer 

Now, when I left Bishop Nestor (to say, by the way, to 
his utter chagrin and discomfiture) I ceased to go into the 
church also, and for two reasons : Firstly, not to see poor Bish 
op Nestor, whom I loved and respected ever so much ; and sec 
ondly, not to come into contact with those persons that pro 
duced all the quarrels and disturbances in the church. And 
since that time I was never one single time in the church. But 
this fact does not disturb the peace of my conscience in the 
least degree, as I told the Bishop at the time of my leaving 


him that I preferred to follow the teachings and to obey the 
commandments of my Saviour far more than to obey the laws 
of man and church ordinances (in conformity with the words 
of the Apostles Peter and John, in Acts of Apostles iv: 19); 
so I will pray at home, as I did before I found the church 
which duty I conscientiously performed, and do continue to 
perform till the present day. So I severed my connection 
with the church, and bep;an to live again just as I did for so 
many years before. And since that time nothing particular 
has happened to me, and no particular experience in my phys 
ical or mental condition ensued, except that in many and in 
very different ways have I had the inexpressible blessing to 
perceive clearly and vividly that my prayers and petitions are 
heard, and almost without exception are answered to my full 
satisfaction and desire. Also, that constantly more and more 
I experience the increase of inner peace and good- will and 
wish towards all my fellow-beings; and only the following 
three causes disturb my inner equanimity, and produce a good 
deal of pain and heart-soreness, namely: First, to see so much 
injustice and wrong perpetrated by men upon one another; 
second, to see so many crippled and blind begging for means 
to support their physical life, as they are unable to procure it 
by the work of their own arms and muscles; third, to see 
clearly and plainly that the teachings of the Christian religion 
are performed incorrectly, and not so at all as it ought to be 
done. The Christian religion is the religion of Christ, and the 
religion of Christ is contained in the words, the teachings 
and commandments of Christ himself. That is, in the princi 
ples and doctrines recorded in the Gospels as the own words 
of our Saviour. From these words principally should be the 
whole teaching of the Christian religion, and not from the Old 
Testament, as that Testament belongs to the Mosaic Dispensa 
tion, which was superseded by the Gospel Dispensation of 
Christ, but was revived under the auspices of Protestantism , 


and is constantly pushed further and ahead to the injury of 
the religion of Christ. This is positively wrong, as these two 
systems of religion in nowise can go hand-in-hand together 
because they are positively different. The aim and end of ev 
ery religion in the world is solely for the purpose of improv 
ing the life and actions of man to such a degree that he should 
come to such a state of mind as to live and act in perfect con 
formity with the will and law of his Creator. For that end 
were the laws and ordinances of the many and different relig 
ions given by the Universal Creator of all. As no man can 
deny even the rabbis of the Mosaic religion admitting freely 
that the teachings and commandments of our Saviour stand 
incomparably higher than the teachings of Moses. It is evi 
dent that teaching the Christian religion from the old Testa 
ment of the Mosaic Dispensation is nothing less than a pre 
vention of the establishment of Christ's religion on earth. It 
is just the same in result as it would be if the universities 
for making astronomers would teach only the pure mathe 
matics, and astronomy proper, would give only in general 
terms and principles. The world would then have just as 
good astronomers as it has now "good Christians." 

The proof to this is not hard to find. As religion must 
and does elevate the standard of human life, this no one can 
deny, and as the morals of the religion of Christ are so much 
and incomparably higher and purer than the morals of the re 
ligion of Moses, as found in the Old Testament of our Bible 
this no one can deny either: so it is self-evident that the life 
of the professed Christians, and even "good Christians" at 
that, ought to be far more and higher in morality than the life 
and morals of the Hebrews of the same country and commun 
ity; because the religion professed by the former is so much 
higher than the religion of the latter. But is it so in fact ? 
Every one who is acquainted with the world's doings and con 
ditions will answer, No. It is far more near to be the reverse. 


We need only to look around ourselves in this country. Tak 
en generally, or ab a class, the Hebrews are far higher in mor 
als than the professing Christians; and to the superficial ob 
server the only difference between them consists in the simple 
fact that the Hebrew goes to worship God according to the 
laws of Moses, whose follower he is on the seventh day of the 
week (his Sabbath), whereas the Christian (professed follower 
of Christ) goes to worship his Lord, God, and Saviour on the 
first day of the week, and this in honor and memory of his 
Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ, who rose from death on 
the first day of the week, and who, having risen from death on 
the first day of the week, appeared to his followers in his body 
alive, and thereby established and proved to them all he 
claimed to be when living among them. And these Christians 
worship God on the first day of the week instead of the seventh 
day of the week of the Mosaic Dispensation ; that is, on the res 
urrection day of our Lord, God, and Saviour, which is estab 
lished strictly in obedience to his command: "For the Father 
judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the 
Son." "That all men should honor the Son, even as they hon 
or the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not 
the Father which hath sent him." (St. John v: 22, 23.) 
Now the Saviour tells us here, clearly and plainly, that he 
who does not honor the Son does not honor "the Father which 
sent him," and why ? Because the "Father" and the "Son" 
constitute one Divine Person, as I have seen in the most sub 
lime vision in the hospital at Fort Trumbull; and it was told 
into my ear from above, that the human form I saw in the 
midst of the clouds was the "God-Father" and "God- Son." 
So I know it positively to be so, and know it not from human 
teachings, but from the revealing of the Saviour himself; and 
this was revealed to me in perfect accordance to and with his 
words: "I and my Father are one." "Who sees me, sees my 
Father also." 


Now, as from the words of our Saviour, it is evident that 
man cannot honor the Father (Jehovah) without honoring the 
Son (Saviour) ; therefore, to be able to honor the Father, whom 
man has not seen, man must honor the Son whom man has 
seen. Now, on what day of the week is the most proper time 
to honor the Saviour in public worship and thanksgiving ? 
Most surely, not on the seventh day of the week (the Sabbath 
of the Decalogue). On that day he was dead, and lying bur 
ied in the sepulchre. On that day he was dead physically, as 
any mortal can be dead; and so, not only for all unbelievers 
in him, but was even so to all his nearest followers, the disci 
ples and the apostles. And so much it was so that even the 
foremost of the apostles, as Peter and John, were reluctant to 
believe the words of the holy women, who announced that they 
had seen him in his body alive. This day of the week is the 
most improper among all days to observe in worship for his 
honor; and without honoring him, as he tells us himself, we 
cannot honor his Father who "sent him" to the world. But 
the above quoted words of his (St. John v: 23), being taken in 
reverse, will read thus, "Who honoreth the Son at the same 
time honoreth the Father," because "I and my Father are 
one." So the seventh day of the week (the Sabbath of the 
Decalogue) drops out of the question, as the believer and fol 
lower of Christ cannot honor Christ on the day when he was 
physically dead to the whole world, and without honoring the 
Son (Christ) the follower and believer in him and his Word 
cannot honor his Father (Jehovah). Thus the apostles and 
all other followers of Christ, and believers in his gospel teach 
ings and commandments, after the descent of the Holy Ghost 
on the day of Pentecost, began to assemble together as often as 
it was possible, for breaking bread in commemoration of the 
Last Supper. And when the community of believers began to 
enlarge very fast, they began to assemble for the breaking of 
bread (and this in obedience to his command or injunction- 


"This do in remembrance of me" (Luke xxii: 19) on the first 
day of the week, as the one day of the week the most fitting 
and proper for keeping holy by public worship in his honor, 
and for the remembrance of him. As on that day he rose 
from death, and appearing to his believers and followers in his 
physical body alive, and dispersing all doubt in them, estab 
lished in their minds and consciences as a heavenly truth all 
that which he claimed to be, as also all that which he taught 
them living among them; so much so that they, unhesitating 
ly, accepted him as the Lord and God of heaven and earth. 
"All power is given me in heaven and in earth.'' (Matt. 
xxviii:18.) "My Lord and my God." (John xx: 28.) But 
notwithstanding all these teachings and testimonies of men } 
endued with the Holy Spirit of truth from on high, and 
which testimonies were given by them for the whole human 
race on earth, even this last distinction between Hebrew and 
Christian, as to the day of the week set apart for public wor 
ship and honor of God, is being strenuously worked upon to 
be extinguished and obliterated, and this by men who, by the 
wnole might of their voice, proclaim themselves to be the best 
teachers of the religion of Christ. 

There is a pseudo-Christian sect that exists under the 
name of "Seventh day Sabbath Adventists." The leaders and 
teachers of that "sect" exert their utmost power of speech and 
pen to establish the seventh day of the week as a day of rest 
(Sabbath) and of public worship, as it was established by 
Moses in the Mosaic Dispensation of the Old Testament of our 
Bible, and which day is strictly observed by all believing He 
brews till the present day; because they reject the Messiahship 
of our Saviour, and therefore remain in the Mosaic Dispensa 
tion as followers of Moses in adhering to his institutions. The 
observances of the seventh day Sabbath, the Adventist leaders 
urge upon the people under the pretense that it was command 
ed by God himself, and inscribed upon the tables of stone as 


the fourth commandment of the Decalogue. But they do not 
see, or pretend not to see, or refuse to see, that the will and 
law of God (Jehovah), for all those that accepted Jesus of Naz 
areth as the true Messiah and their Saviour, is not in the Old 
Testament of our Bible, but in the Four Gospels and partially 
in the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament, which con 
stitutes the religion of Christ, and to which religion Chris 
tians, by their very name, profess to belong. To state it more 
plainly for all to be understood, the will and law of God for 
all those who profess to be Christian believers in and follow 
ers of Christ and his teachings and commandments, is ex 
pressed in the following words made known upon the Mount 
of Transfiguration, viz., "This is my beloved Son in whom I 
am well pleased; hear ye him." (Matt, xvii: 5; Mark ix: 7; 
Luke ix:35.) Now, as these last words, "hear ye him," can 
not mean anything else than, Obey ye him, or, Do what he 
teaches and commands you to do, hence the whole law and 
will of our Heavenly Father is contained in the teachings and 
commandments of our Saviour, and his teachings and com 
mandments are in the New Testament of our Bible and not in 
the Old Testament. Besides this, the Saviour says himself: 
"My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man 
will do his will he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be 
of God or whether I speak of myself." And, "For I have not 
spoken of myself but the Father which sent me; he gave me a 
commandment what I should say and what I should speak." 
(St. John ,vii: 16, 17; xii: 44, 48, 49.) There are far more 
words of our Saviour that prove the correctness of the asser 
tion that the gospel teachings and commandments contain the 
whole law and will of God for Christians; and no religious 
teacher can deny that, or prove himself to be correct, if he ever 
will deny this. 

The Adventists claim that their conscience compels them 
to observe the seventh day of the week as a day of rest, or 


Sabbath, because that observance was commanded by God. 
But nowadays every intelligent person knows full well that 
human conscience is very elastic; it can be made to believe 
and adhere to any absurdity, even to a criminal intercourse. 
This is amply and fully seen by the "modern abomination" of 
the Mormons of Utah fame, which sect flourishes under the 
name of " Reorganized Church of Christ of the Latter-day 
Saints"; and mark here, "Christ's Church Saints (?) Is it 
not the most horrible blasphemy upon the name of the Bless 
ed Saviour of mankind ? Every sensible, honest, and pure fe 
male shrinks with abhorrence from the idea to have a husband 
that is a husband of many other wives besides her. But 
among the Mormon females can be found many, and very 
many are found, who are doing any and every sinful, or even 
criminal, acts to sustain and preserve their foul institutions- 
And why ? Because it is constantly and uninterruptedly 
hammered into their heads by their religious (?) teachers that 
their institution of polygamy is according to the will and law 
of God, and insures the salvation of the soul and eternal life. 
(As their Doctrine and Covenant, page 464, says: "Behold, I 
reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant, and if ye 
abide not in that covenant [polygamy] then are ye damned ; 
for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter 
into my [celestial] glory.") Now, can such a law (?) be found 
in any other, even so-called pagan, religions of the world ? 
The Mohammedans have polygamy, but it is only permitted by 
the Koran, and not commanded to adhere and abide in it; but 
here it is positively commanded, under the penalty of being 
"damned" for rejection of it. And this the "Mormon leaders 
and teachers,'' "elders," "apostles," and "prophets" (?) claim 
as rights of individual conscience. Just the same plea as the 
"Adventists" proclaim as the right of conscience to introduce 
into the "Religion of Christ," and establish an institution, 
which is Mosaic and not Christian, because it is not command- 


ed by Christ, neither enjoined by any of the apostles, and is, 
therefore, unchristian. But as the "Mormons," just so the 
"Adventists," say, that man cannot expect to inherit eternal 
life from the hands of Christ if he does not observe the ''sev 
enth-day Sabbath"; i. e., in order to receive salvation from 
Christ, man must do that which Christ did not command him 
to do and observe. And so it is, at least to a great extent, with 
all "denominations" of the Christian religion. All teach, more 
or less, only to believe in Christ, and to do that* which the 
pulpit- teacher tells them to do, and not to "''obey and observe 
all things whatsoever" Christ has commanded, notwithstand 
ing such teaching is in positive disobedience to our Saviour's 
last and the greatest command, viz., "Teaching them [all ,na- 
tions, all people] to observe all things whatsoever I have com 
manded you," etc. (Matt, xxviii: 20.) 

Seeing and knowing all this from the religious literature 
(being a constant subscriber and close reader of six religious 
papers of different Protestant denominations for several years), 
I attempted many times to expose these errors and falsities, 
but never could have the chance to do that, as every paper re 
fused to publish such of my writings as exposed too much of 
their own errors. So by me nothing more could be done than 
to write as much as I possibly will be able, and publish it in 
"pamphlet form" by my own means, if I will be able to save 
so much from my pension, as I have no hope whatever to be 
able to work and earn some money besides my pension. As to 
the present time, I can in no ways write more than two hours 
a day, and that only mornings. But it is very hard to save 
much from a pension of thirty dollars a month. 

Now, I desired to tell here much more about my experi 
ences in life of "religion," but it is too voluminous already- 
Hence I must finish these "Depositions" by expressing my 
last wish and desire that these "Depositions" be printed in a 
''book form," and distributed among my fellow-men for their